Table 1

Normality types.

Type/categoryDefinition and constituent elements
Non-normal life
  • Some people may find it difficult to accept their condition and attempt to carry on as before, even hiding their condition from others. This may have negative consequences when this is not successful

  • Symptoms may be devastatingly intrusive and unmanageable for some. It may be difficult or impossible to carry out day-to-day activities, for example, because of symptoms and/or embarrassment, despite acknowledging and trying to adapt to the condition

  • The condition can threaten peoples’ self-identity and associated sense of normality

  • There may be a feeling of loss of control over the disease and life

Normal life
  • For some, medication may be so effective that they can carry on as normal that is, as before the diagnosis

  • Other patients may experience mild symptoms with minimal impact on life, daily activities and self-identity, with control facilitated by medication

  • Some patients with more severe symptoms may reconceptualise normal life by including their condition and its impacts in a life that accommodates the disease. This will include acceptance of the condition and reorientation of self-identity and thoughts about what constitutes a healthy body

  • Adapted from Sanderson et al. 27