Will family members be affected?

A diagnosis of schizophrenia can have considerable impact not only on the affected individual, but also on the people closest to them, particularly during acute phases of the illness .

Family members often have difficulty recognising that an illness is developing in their relative and that the person is in need of help, resulting in delays in timing and type of help sought. Getting the right treatment early on in the disease process is crucial to better outcomes. Predominant barriers to seeking help by relatives are the perceived stigma of having a mental illness and reluctance of the ill relative to participate in the help-seeking process. The individuals’ wider social context and informal networks may also inhibit help-seeking. Crises, or overt psychotic symptoms are the main promoters of active help-seeking and facilitators to accessing services. Relatives’ informal networks often serve to assist in this process.

Family therapy is effective for improving symptoms in patients and provides a greater understanding of the disorder for both patients and their families.

April 2019

Last updated at: 10:41 pm, 9th April 2019

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