Bangkit: The Processes of Recovery from First Episode Psychosis in Java

A. Subandi


There is a growing literature on recovery from schizophrenia. Most studies, however, focused on outcome, with insufficient attention paid to the process of recovery. The aim of this study was to explore the process of recovery from first episode psychotic illness in a Javanese cultural setting. An ethnographic method was applied where researcher conducted a field work and followed seven participants in their natural setting. This study identified three phases of recovery process in the context of Javanese culture: Bangkit, gaining insight; Usaha, struggling to achieve recovery; and Rukun, harmonious integration with family and community integration. Recovery entails regaining insight, followed by simultaneous inward and outward efforts that reconstitute one’s inner and outer world, respectively. Participants also expressed their recovery in terms of a movement through physical space, from confinement in their own home to the wider spaces shared with family and community. Movements in physical space parallel movements in social space, where participants accomplish a social recovery. The Javanese phase of recovery found in this study is comparable to the phase of recovery identified by previous literatures in the Western context.

Keywords: Recovery, Psychosis, Ethnography, Java