Dreamy States and Cosmic Wanderings: An Autoethnographic Narrative of Spiritual Experiences In Epilepsy

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The medical model attributes religious and spiritual experiences in epilepsy to delusional or hallucinatory events, sometimes diagnosed as a form of ictal psychosis with its causation lying in epileptic symptomatology. Individuals with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy rarely discuss experiences with medical professionals, fearing judgement and pathologization. I problematize understanding these experiences in a strictly biomedical manner. A medical case study is replaced by autoethnographic narrative to describe and analyse spiritual experiences from a non-medical perspective. This approach emphasizes the phenomenology of the experience and its meaning for the life of the experient. Themes of illness, disclosure and stigma become transformative.
Keywords: epilepsy, spirituality, autoethnography, illness, ictal psychosis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-77
Number of pages27
JournalDepartures in Critical Qualitative Research
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 9 Dec 2019

Keywords

  • epilepsy, spirituality, autoethnography, illness

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