Negotiating "Self Stigma" and an "Addicted Identity" in Traditional 12-Step Self-Help Groups.

William McGovern, Michelle Addison, Ruth McGovern

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In empirical accounts of self-help processes, it is often argued that individuals “self-stigmatise” (Corrigan, P, W., and Rao, D. 2012 On the Self-Stigma of Mental Illness: Stages, Disclosure and Strategies for Change, in Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, vol, 57, Issue 8.), wherein they self-identify as “diseased”, label themselves “addict” then fashion a new “in recovery” addicted identity. Using the social identity approach to recovery as a framework and empirical data from 36 qualitative interviews with individuals in recovery this chapter theoretically explores self-help processes. We examine the ways in which self-help users negotiate the concepts of “stigma” and an “addicted identity” in traditional types of 12 step self-help groups. Based on data from study in the Northeast of England, we propose the following typology of self-help users, highlighting variations of “The Addicted Identity” and complex experiences captured in self-help groups: Defender of the Legacy, Partial Appropriator and Repudiator.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDrugs Identity and Stigma
Editorswilliam Mcgovern, michelle addison , ruth McGovern
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783030982867
ISBN (Print)9783030982850, 9783030982881
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2022

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