Enemies or obstacles?
Metaphors of war and journey in mental health discourse
This study examines the use of metaphors of war and journey in a million-word corpus of Spanish-language blogs written by patients with severe mental disorders and by mental health professionals. Quantitative results indicate that both metaphors are more prevalent among patients than professionals, supporting the idea that they are mostly used in this context for communicating complex and emotionally intense experiences. From a qualitative perspective, our results show that patients use both metaphors to deal with exactly the same ontological elements of the situation (the disorder, symptoms, negative emotions, everyday problems, social prejudice, medical activity, people close to the patients and the patients themselves) but framing them differently. Further analysis shows that both metaphors have positive and negative uses in terms of emotions conveyed, empowerment and suitability for coping with the situation. In light of this, we conclude with a discussion of proposals promoting the positive uses of these metaphors.
- 2.Metaphors of war and journey: Uses and applications, and state of the art
- 3.Data and methods
- 4.Quantitative findings
- 5.Qualitative findings
- 5.1War metaphors
- 5.1.1Unspecific fight
- 5.1.2The war scenario: enemies (and some allies)
- 5.2.1Moving forwards and backwards
- 5.2.2Main ontological elements: Places, obstacles, companions, burdens
- 5.1War metaphors
Published online: 31 May 2022
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