Attempting to restore integrity of the self: a grounded theory study of recovery from major depressive disorder

Kourosh Amini, Dougie Marks, Mohammad Ali Cheraghi, Mehrdad Eftekhar, Reza Negarandeh

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The cultural and social background of the individual would seem to be important factors that can affect recovery from major depressive disorder (MDD). Currently, there is little information on the process of recovery from MDD in Middle Eastern countries, such as Iran.

This study was conducted to explore the process of recovery from MDD in Iran.

A grounded theory approach by Corbin and Strauss was used to explore recovery from MDD. Twenty patients were recruited using purposive and theoretical sampling methods.

Several themes emerged from the data, the primary of which was "Attempting to restore integrity of the self," which included the two subthemes of "Attempting to restore health," and "Attempting to reacquire the lost abilities." Various contextual factors also affected recovery, including poverty, inefficient health care systems, perceived support, feelings of failure, and social stigma. During the recovery process, participants adopted both "effective strategies" and "ineffective strategies." Following the attempt to restore integrity, participants experienced different levels of integrity, ranging from "complete recovery" to "no recovery/relapse."


The results from this study contribute to the body of knowledge regarding recovery from MDD in Iran. The data suggest that recovery from depressive disorder is a very personal experience that is affected by different and variable factors and conditions. However, the attempt to restore integrity of the self can result in achieving a higher level of performance and health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-395
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association
Issue number5
Early online date21 Sep 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019


  • Depression
  • Models
  • Theories of psychiatric nursing
  • Recovery

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