Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) can be considered as a paradigmat-ic disease for the understanding of repairing processes enacted to re-store internal regulation when the body is defective. The present study aims at providing an object relations informed narrative analy-sis of the illness experience of people affected by PH through a qualitative phenomenological analysis of the illness narratives of 12 adult Italian patients with PH. Four thematic areas (each consisting of three subthemes) were identified that respectively deal with pro-gressive stages of illness story: coping with early symptoms (mean-inglessness, minimization, self-blame), searching for a diagnosis (helplessness, burden, refusal of medical advice), reacting to diagno-sis (shock, resignation, acceptance of limitations) and facing the fu-ture (medical benefits, faith in God, support from patients’ associa-tions). Findings make a significant contribution to the exploration of people with PH’s several subjective challenges in coping with a de-fective body from symptom onset to after diagnosis.
Keywords: Pulmonary hypertension, illness perception, narratives, qualitative phenomenological analysis, object relations theory.