Download A Crisis of Meaning: How Gay Men Are Making Sense of AIDS by Steven Schwartzberg PDF

By Steven Schwartzberg

For homosexual males, the calls for of the AIDS epidemic are huge, immense and unrelenting. despite HIV prestige, all are referred to as directly to keep vigilant protection with intercourse, to stand down a cultural stigma larger even than homophobia, and to someway have the opportunity to move ahead in an international heavy with loss. As exhaustion and grief threaten to crush the activism and optimism of prior years, and with new infections at the upward push between younger homosexual males, the problem of discovering that means in an international became the wrong way up is greater than an idle philosophical workout. it's a topic of mental and even perhaps actual survival.
during this poignant and uncompromising new booklet, Dr. Steven Schwartzberg bargains a ground-breaking standpoint on how homosexual males (and fairly HIV-positive homosexual males) locate how one can rebuild a global of that means amid the trauma and uncertainty of the AIDS concern. Eschewing either glib prescriptions for turning tragedy into triumph, and theoretical abstractions, Schwartzberg grounds his insights in his personal stories as a homosexual guy and as a training psychotherapist, and in in-depth interviews with nineteen males dwelling with HIV. Ranging in age from twenty-seven to fifty, the boys comprise a development foreman, a doctor, an paintings historian, a waiter, a librarian, and a certified therapeutic massage therapist. With candor, perception, eagerness, and a notable skill to proportion of themselves, they converse eloquently approximately how HIV has affected their perspectives of the realm, their senses of themselves, and the way they stay their lives. Interweaving the men's tales with observations from his study and scientific perform, Schwartzberg bears witness to the outstanding changes a few males have comprehensive, and the discomfort of meaninglessness that weighs others down. He strives to discover why a few view HIV as a catalyst for switch or progress, whereas others see it merely as punishment. And notwithstanding he passes no judgment at the coping concepts he describes, Schwartzberg does insist at the very important necessity of balancing somber fact with therapeutic, life-sustaining wish. He argues that males who decide upon an excessive amount of phantasm and too little truth possibility shoddy self-care and insufficient coaching for the long run, whereas those that locate no break out from fact may perhaps teeter into rage or suicidal despair.
fantastically written, with piercing understanding of the enormity of the demanding situations confronting people with HIV, this ebook celebrates the resilience of the human spirit. it truly is either a prepared mental advisor and an elegiac chronicle of what existence for lots of has turn into. lightly pointing tips on how to an oasis of progress, energy, and love that exists amid the epidemic's bleak terrain of loss, it's crucial studying for individuals residing with HIV, for his or her neighbors, households, and the psychological health and wellbeing pros who take care of them, and for all homosexual males grappling with the large alterations AIDS has delivered to a group below siege.

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Additional info for A Crisis of Meaning: How Gay Men Are Making Sense of AIDS

Sample text

We also grant the same prominence to a belief in personal control. In Western cultures, and perhaps particularly America, we place extreme value on people's ability to steer their own destinies. We believe people have the ability to control their fate. We take this even further: People have the responsibility to do so. Along with justice, this is one of our most cherished cultural notions, and one of the most basic underpinnings with which many people build their life's meaning. We tend to believe that people can, and should, control the course of their lives by exerting proper effort.

Meaning usually lumbers along. It changes gradually, slowly, like a flowing stream whose course is determined by the accretion of subtle alterations. A cataclysmic downpour—such as may occur with HIV or AIDS—only occasionally redirects its path. When an immense challenge does descend, however, we inescapably face the need to reestablish a new framework of meaning to fit the changed reality. People meet this challenge in various ways, with varying degrees of success. Some lose their grounding and plunge into despair.

We will return to his story shortly to see how he made sense of his travails. But before looking more closely at Daniel, and at the tribulations of HIV let us examine some more mundane circumstances. How do people create meaning in ordinary, everyday life? 18 Meaning: The Perennial Quest 19 The Best of Times: How Life's Meaning Unfolds in Daily Life On an everyday basis, we rely on a network of unconscious beliefs to make sense of our lives and our place in the world. These beliefs can be regarded as the infrastructure of life's meaning.

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