Schizophrenia Often, When People Discover That A Term Paper


Schizophrenia Often, when people discover that a family member has developed a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, they may be in shock, they may be puzzled and frightened by the strange behaviors (Johnson pp). They may be concerned about what will happen, and are generally at a loss for what to do (Johnson pp). This experience is virtually the same for all families everywhere in the world, and everywhere the stress of mental illness is great (Johnson pp). Generally, after examinations are carried out, medication are prescribed and other treatments recommended, and sometimes family members are interviewed, however, after a few days when the patient is released, usually the family has been told nothing about how to cope with the patient or the patient's effects upon the family (Johnson pp).

All too often families who are coping with a brain disorder, such as schizophrenia, in a close relative tend to neglect their own health, and are so emotionally involved that they fail to realize that they are under tremendous strain (Maintaining pp). Family members go through various stages, the first being disbelief and denial, followed by blame, shame, and anger, then finally acceptance (Maintaining pp).

When faced with the diagnosis of schizophrenia in a loved one, the majority of people go through a phase of denial, which makes it difficult for other family members to cope and may prohibit efforts they make on the patient's behalf (Maintaining pp). A family member in denial is difficult and distressing leading to arguments...


The only real solution is to provide information about schizophrenia so that the person can see that many of the events happening within the family could be related to the disorder (Maintaining pp).
Often, families look for a scapegoat, such as the doctor, psychiatrist, or even the victim himself, however, eventually everyone must recognize that the real enemy is the disorder itself (Maintaining pp). Another reaction is shame, that of viewing the mental illness with fear, extreme embarrassment or even horror, and these feelings may be difficult to overcome (Maintaining pp). Family members may feel that they cannot tell anyone about the schizophrenia, and end up making up false excuses or white lies to explain the relative's behavior, which simply compounds the problem (Maintaining pp). It may help to begin by calling the disorder a mental breakdown or thought disorder, then proceed to describe some of the symptoms (Maintaining pp). It is also helpful to join a self-help group where problems are treated in confidence and family can speak freely about experiences and fears (Maintaining pp).

Another common emotion is guilt, believing that past events or family life is somehow responsible for the schizophrenia, and many family members spend endless hours wondering if in some mysterious way they could be to blame for the illness (Maintaining pp). Moreover, there is guilt over being well while the loved one is ill, this particularly holds true among siblings, and may…

Sources Used in Documents:

Work Cited

Johnson, Dale L. "Family Interventions for Schizophrenia: An International View."

Psychiatric Times. 5/1/2005.

"Maintaining Your Own Health: For Family Members Caring for Relatives with a Mental

Disorder." National Institutes of Health.

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