Religious Construction of a First Episode of Psychosis in Urban Brazil
Religion plays an important role in the lives of people with psychosis. Based on fieldwork with 21 families living in poor neighborhoods of São Paulo, Brazil, this article examines how youth suffering a first episode of psychosis resort to religion for help (including, Catholicism, Pentecostalism, Candomblé, and Umbanda) and how this frames their experience of psychosis and that of their family members. For young people, the personal articulation of religious idioms and signifiers served to communicate, elaborate and transform their experience of psychosis. Family members resorted to religion as a source of healing, complementary to psychiatric treatment, as well as for personal relief and comfort. For youth, involvement with religion worked in both ‘progressive’ and ‘regressive’ ways, to improve and, at times, to diminish functioning and well-being.
(2003). Religious Construction of a First Episode of Psychosis in Urban Brazil. Transcultural Psychiatry, 40 (4), 507-530.