Effects of Schizophrenia on Families

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“EFFECTS OF SCHIZOPHRENIA ON FAMILIES”
Katrinka Joy L. Bañez

I. Introduction

A. What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a complex brain disorder that makes it hard for people affected to think clearly, have normal emotional responses, act normally in social situations and tell the difference between what is real and what is not.

It makes people withdraw from the outside world and always act out in fear. People suffering from schizophrenia may see or hear things that don’t exist, speak in strange ways, think that people are trying to harm them, and always feel as if they are being watched. They have difficulty in doing activities of daily life.

This disease is caused either by one’s genetic make-up or abnormal brain structure. But the environment can be a cause too, as for the environmental factors, more and more research is pointing to stress.

Like any other disease, schizophrenia has its own symptoms like strange ways of speaking, inability to express emotion and irrational statements. It is in these symptoms that we can detect persons with schizophrenia. And it is important that we diagnose them for medical treatment for schizophrenia may lead to violent behavior.

B. Statement of the Problem

For, people with schizophrenia, there is a great need of their family’s continuous support. However, recent findings show that a family holds on to their schizophrenic relative only for a short period of time, especially if the development is severe. The family may feel frustration and tend to give up on the person. This will not be good for the person suffering because he might be inclined to give up on himself as well and worsen his condition, and if schizophrenia is at its worst, there can be deaths. Many of the serial killers caught were diagnosed as schizophrenics, paranoid schizophrenics to be specific, and these people didn’t really have understanding families. Take the case of Richard Chase, a schizophrenic who murdered 6 people. His parents got divorced due to constant fighting over his abnormal doings. This resulted to the neglect of his father. And it led him to commit multiple homicides. A situation like this could be avoided if the family will understand better how to deal with their schizophrenic child or sibling.

C. Hypothesis

Families of schizophrenics tend to be stressed out. This may be because of the frustration that a schizophrenic gives to people. This frustration may be from the schizophrenics’ inability to care for themselves and their seemingly lack of progress.

D. Significance of the Study

This study will show the effects of having a schizophrenic family member. And with these effects, proper dealing with the schizophrenic will be discussed. It will benefit the people suffering from schizophrenia for this will help in the understanding of their illness better and will show ways on how to deal with them. If more people understand their condition, there will be more effort to have them for medical treatment and these treatments will slow down and postpone the development of schizophrenia. In this case, their illness will not any more worsen.

E. Definition of Terms
* Depression - Severe despondency and dejection, accompanied by feelings of * Deterioration - To diminish or impair in quality
* Disorder - An ailment that affects the function of mind or body * Hostility - unfriendliness or opposition

* Social Withdrawal - The state or quality of being alone or remote from others, hopelessness and inadequacy.
* Symptoms - A physical or mental feature that is regarded as indicating a condition of disease

II. Review of Related Literature

Schizophrenia is not a rare condition. The lifetime risk of developing schizophrenia is widely accepted to be 1 in a 100. It therefore...
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