“Like Every Normal Person?!” The Paradoxical Effect of Aging With Schizophrenia

Peli Mushkin, Tova Band-Winterstein, Hila Avieli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Studies on aging with schizophrenia have focused mainly on the adversities of aging with mental illness. The present study, however, examined the subjective experience of well-being among individuals with schizophrenia. Taking a phenomenological reflective life-world approach, in-depth, semistructured interviews with 18 aging individuals with schizophrenia were thematically analyzed. Four main themes emerged: (a) “I love the pills.. they are very helpful”: A balanced course of the illness as a basis for well-being in old age; (b) “I’m going to have my own exhibition at the museum”: Self-fulfillment as promoting well-being; (c) “It’s just like a family here”: Experiencing a sense of belonging; and (d) “I live like everyone else”: Aging as an opportunity for normalization. Alongside hardship, the participants perceived old age as a “window of opportunity,” enabling the fulfillment of lifelong desires for a social life, acceptance, and a satisfying occupation. Implications regarding interventions with this unique population are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)977-986
Number of pages10
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 May 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © The Author(s) 2018.


  • Middile East
  • aging
  • reflective life-world methodology
  • schizophrenia
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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