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Jung's archetype, ‘The Wounded Healer’, mental illness in the medical profession and the role of the health humanities in psychiatry
  1. Ahmed Hankir1,
  2. Rashid Zaman2
  1. 1National Institute of Health Research Academic Clinical Fellow Psychiatry, Manchester University, Manchester, UK
  2. 2Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ahmed Hankir, ahmedzakaria{at}


Carl Jung used the term, ‘The Wounded Healer’ as an archetype to describe doctors who have suffered from an illness. Reading and writing autobiographical narratives of the ‘Wounded Healer’ is gaining popularity among doctors with mental illness as an effective form of adjunctive therapy. Moreover, reading autobiographical narratives of psychopathology sufferers can ‘augment’ service providers’ humanity by offering valuable qualitative insights into minds afflicted with a psychiatric disorder. The primary author, a doctor of Middle-Eastern descent practicing in the UK, composed an autobiographical narrative about his personal experiences with oscillations in his mood in an attempt to illustrate the cultural, religious and psychosocial factors that influence disease detection, progression, treatment and outcome. An inordinate amount of misconceptions about mental illness abound. We hope that this manuscript will help to lessen the stigma associated with those who suffer from psychopathology (particularly doctors) and encourage sufferers to engage with the appropriate services.

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