Temporalities of Mental Distress: Digital Immediacy and the Meaning of 'Crisis' in Online Support

Article


Tucker, I. M. and Lavis, A 2019. Temporalities of Mental Distress: Digital Immediacy and the Meaning of 'Crisis' in Online Support. Sociology of Health & Illness. 41 (S1), pp. 132-146.
AuthorsTucker, I. M. and Lavis, A
Abstract

The internet is increasingly used to seek support by those suffering with mental distress (Bauman & Rivers, 2015). Drawing on research on a major online peer support forum we analyse discussions around acute distress, self-harm and suicide. The paper argues that new temporalities of mental health ‘crisis’ are emerging through the intersection of the immediacy of online support, the chronicity of underlying distress, and the punctuated nature of professional support. Online support adds a layer of temporal immediacy that does not traditionally feature in other forms of support (e.g. professional in-person services). This shifts the meaning of a mental health ‘crisis' from acute to processual, and can lead to definitions of 'crisis' being used when not desired nor necessarily accurate. By attending to the layering of temporalities at the intersections of professional in-person, and online support, we demonstrate how parameters of crisis support are set – by whom, for whom and in relation to whose bodies. This has implications for professional clinical practice internationally in relation to the increased digitisation of support and the meanings of 'crisis' that emerge.

KeywordsDigital Support,. Mental Health and Distress, Temporality, Crisis, Online
JournalSociology of Health & Illness
Journal citation41 (S1), pp. 132-146
ISSN0141-9889
Year2019
PublisherWiley for Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Anyone
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1111/1467-9566.12943
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.12943
Publication dates
Online10 Oct 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted28 Feb 2019
Deposited25 Jul 2019
FunderEPSRC Communities and Culture Network
Copyright holder© 2019 Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness.
Copyright informationThis is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Tucker, I. M., & Lavis, A. (2019) 'Temporalities of Mental Distress: Digital Immediacy and the Meaning of ‘Crisis’ in Online Support', Sociology of Health and Illness, 41 (S1), pp. 132-146, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.12943. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.
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Accepted author manuscript

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