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How are relationships impacted by schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia can have an intrusive effect on personal relationships, social interactions and on libido. For people with schizophrenia who experience difficulty forming and maintaining relationships, this may be a direct consequence of the disorder and its debilitating symptoms. Investigations have found that cognitive deficits experienced by many people with schizophrenia, including impairments in social perception and emotional recognition, may also pose hindrance to the formation of meaningful relationships. Antipsychotic medication has also been shown to impact on sexual function.

What is the evidence on relationships?

Moderate to low quality evidence suggests marital status of people with schizophrenia varies considerably in the developing world, with marriage rates ranging from 16% to 73%, divorce rates ranging from 6% to 39%, and being single ranging from 26% to 65%. Sexual dysfunction is common in people with a severe mental disorder such as schizophrenia. Sex education may increase functioning and improve personal relationships, as well as reduce risks of HIV or unplanned pregnancy. There are reduced social networks, but not family networks, reported by people with first-episode psychosis compared to people without first-episode psychosis or schizophrenia.


April 2016

Page last updated: 5:43  27 September 2018

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