A quantitative/qualitative study on metaphors used by Persian depressed patients
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Arch Psych Psych 2011;13(4):5–13
Aim. This study was designed to examine qualitatively/quantitatively the metaphors used by Iranian depressed patients. Metaphors, used by depressed patients, seem to be associated with personal failings or inadequacies. They may also contribute to the basis to account for a cultural notion of depression. Methods/materials. Filling in two metaphor inventories (Stem-Sentence Test: SST and Metaphor Inventory: MI) and one clinical scale (Beck Depression Inventory: BDI), 30 healthy volunteers and 30 depressed patients matched for age and gender took part in this study. Quantitative/qualitative data analysis showed that depressed patients tended to produce metaphors with more negative emotional tone than healthy participants. Results. Using the descriptive phenomenological analysis, the results indicated that participants likened depression using metaphors connoting darkness, being unable to escape/being lost, devastation and disease. Furthermore, depressed patients produced metaphoric phrases that are somehow pertinent to night time, lower positions, closed places, and hollow objects. In contrast, healthy participants tended to propose phrases related to day time, upper positions, open places, movement, and solid objects. Discussion. The present finding is in line with a phenomenon called mood congruent memory would be further supported by the construct accessibility model. Conclusion. The present findings are both similar and different from previous findings. These similarities and differences will be discussed from theoretical, clinical and cultural viewpoints.