This article explores autobiographical madness narratives written by people with lived experience of psychosis, dated from the mid-19th century until the 1970s. The focus of the exploration is on the metaphors used in these narratives in order to communicate how the writers experienced and understood madness from within. Different metaphors of madness, such as going out of one’s mind, madness as an inner beast, another world, or a transformative journey are presented based on several autobiographical books. It is argued that these metaphors often represent madness as the negative picture of what it is to be human, while the narrative writing itself helps to restore a sense of belonging and personhood. The value and function of metaphors in illness and madness narratives is further discussed.
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