Schizophrenia Effects The Family

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Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder characterised by hallucinations, delusions and disorganised thought processes that affects around one in a hundred people around the world. However, in reality it impacts on a great many more because the family and close friends of an individual with Schizophrenia also suffer too.

Although no one knows the exact cause of Schizophrenia as there would appear to be several different triggers, it is now well established that genetics play a significant role. Schizophrenia does tend to run in families and if you have a family member with Schizophrenia you are at greater risk of developing it yourself.

Unfortunately there is still a great deal of stigma surrounding all mental illness and a lot of misunderstanding, particularly with Schizophrenia. The symptoms of Schizophrenia can appear quite dramatic so many people mistakenly believe that people with Schizophrenia are violent and dangerous and incapable of mixing well in society, which is not only untrue, it serves to increase the social isolation often experienced by schizophrenia sufferers.

Research shows that around a quarter of people diagnosed with Schizophrenia will go on to make a full recovery. Fifty percent are likely to have periods of remission where they appear quite well. A final quarter will need constant treatment and support.

If you have a member of your family with Schizophrenia it can be frightening and difficult. You have to witness and cope with the terrifying symptoms of the illness as well as the stigma still associated with the disease which can put a tremendous amount of stress and strain on the whole family.

Studies have also shown that people with Schizophrenia are more likely to suffer a relapse if family members openly display emotions such as anger and hostility, if they are critical, or if the required level of support isn’t there. Fortunately, family intervention therapies can help family members educate themselves as to the nature of Schizophrenia and the best ways to help the family and the person suffering from Schizophrenia to cope.

There is no doubt that Schizophrenia is distressing and there may be times when family members or anyone else caring for the person with Schizophrenia will find it all too much and will require some level of support themselves. If you have a family member who has Schizophrenia or if you are caring for an individual with Schizophrenia, it might be a good idea to find out what sort of support systems are available in your local area.

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3 Comments

  1. charlee
    Posted May 21, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    this really helped me with my friends thas for writing itnk

  2. Jenny
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    It was really good to come across this website & to read in detail about schizophrenia. I was diagnosed around 2000 with this illness & had a relapse in 2004. I probably will have to take medication for the rest of my life , but I know now the importance of continuing to take it – it is a small price to pay for my mental well-being.

  3. georgina
    Posted February 1, 2010 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    this has helped me so much as i am on olanzapine now i was told i had it in my teens and had a relapse after havin my son i hear things i’m hostile and get very aggatated and angry i self harm and am so horrible sometimes to my husband i was told not to take my meds by the voices and also see things i would like to no more can you help me please

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