Teschinsky_2000 - Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 21:387...

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Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 21:387–396, 2000 Copyright c ° 0161-2840/00 $12.00 + .00 LIVING WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA: THE FAMILY ILLNESS EXPERIENCE Ursula Teschinsky, BSN Mental health nurses have the opportunity to provide parents and siblings of a schizophrenic family member with information, empowering them to care for themselves and their ill loved one. By understanding the emotional reaction families have to the illness and the effects of social stigma, nurses can help families overcome the barriers to care by establishing a supportive practice. This article describes schizophrenia in terms of its impact on parents and siblings, including novel implications for nursing practice and research. “Mental illness is, by its very nature, a familial experience” (Kinsella, group of people living in a household who are attached emotionally, in- teract regularly, and share concerns for the growth and development of the interdependence of the family members. When a family member is diagnosed with schizophrenia, often in late adolescence, family life is in- terrupted and the life trajectory may be changed. The difŽ culty of living with schizophrenia and the stigma associated with mental illness leaves clients and their families feeling isolated and, historically, blamed. Due to inadequate training, skills, or resources, the overwhelmed families may unwittingly desert their mentally ill family member (Bartol, Moon, and their caregivers who feel they have lost optimism for the future (George & Howell, 1996). Psychiatric nurses who understand the emo- tional impact of mental illness and how families cope canintegrate family This paper was written while the author was a 4th year nursing student at the University of British Columbia. Address correspondence to Ursula Teschinsky, 1531 Lawrence Avenue, Kelowna, BC V1Y 6M8, Canada, E-mail: ulla [email protected] 387
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388 U. Teschinsky support into their nursing care in a useful way. The purpose of this arti- cle is to 1) identify the effects of caring for a young adult schizophrenic family member on parents and siblings; and 2) describe coping strate- gies used by parents and siblings of a schizophrenic family member. Implications for nursing practice and research will be discussed. The word ‘schizophrenia’ was coined in 1911 by a Swiss scientist who combined the Greek words schizein , “to split” and phren , “mind” to identify the split between the cognitive and emotional aspects of and objectively real (Schizophrenia Society of Canada, 1991). Most commonly, schizophrenia is discussed in terms of positive and nega- delusions (false beliefs held Ž rmly by the observer in spite of contrary
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This note was uploaded on 02/10/2011 for the course EEX 2000 taught by Professor Elizabethfilippi during the Spring '11 term at University of Florida.

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Teschinsky_2000 - Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 21:387...

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