Living With Schizophrenia

Carers And Relatives

Posted: Monday, December 4th, 2017

Schizophrenia Carers and Relatives

Media coverage of schizophrenia, whether sympathetic or hostile, often tends to focus on sufferers. Yet a considerable amount of the burden of an episode of schizophrenia also falls on the relatives and carers who are often overlooked by the press reports.

The problems that carers and relatives face has recently been studied by the Hong Kong Shue Yan University and reported in the local free news website, The Standard.

Amongst the alarming findings the authors reported that around 80% of carers of people with schizophrenia often feel depressed, that 50% reported reduced contact with the outside world because of their caring responsibilities, that 18% had had to quit their jobs or go onto part-time work and that in 5% of case the carer’s role had led to a break down in a relationship.

Carers cited patient’s refusal to see the doctor or take their medication as frequent sources of conflict which could be highly stressful for them.

From our mailbag here at Living with Schizophrenia we know that this problem is not confined to Hong Kong and that carers of people with schizophrenia all over the world carry an enormous weight on their shoulders and are often overlooked by services provided by both the government at national and local level and the voluntary providers. This must change.

We must start to look after those close to the sufferer and to recognise that an episode of schizophrenia often creates many victims. We must acknowledge the struggle of carers and relatives and provide services matched to their needs as well. Perhaps the first step could be a greater use of long lasting depot injections for giving antipsychotic medication. Although this method is considerably more expensive than tablets it is also far more effective and provides both sufferer and carers with much-needed relief from the hallucinations and delusions.

Wherever the answer may lie it is clear that we must do more to help relatives and carers of people with schizophrenia.

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8 Responses

  1. Tom Chappell says:

    I need help for my son who is schizophrenic and does not accept or understand that he may have a mental illness. He is 23 years old and is living at home with me (his father) and his adolescent brother.I cannot get him to recognize how we are all very much affected by his illness.He hears voices and I am living in constant fear everyday of what the voices may say to him.He is frusterated and confused and lashes out on us randomly. I do not know where to turn and am reaching out for any suggestions .Please Help our family.Thank you for your time ,Tom Chappell

  2. Maria Caballero De Marco says:

    Good morning, my daughter (23 yrs) has been diagnosed with schizophrenia a few years back, since she is independent we her parents some how dropped the ball and nothing was done. She was living far away on a what seemed a stable relationship even thoug they were young. The break up came around and she seemed to take it perfectly fine until last weekend when she tried to commit suicide. I just cant describe the feeling is impossible.. we traveled to get her out of hospital and back home where she is at with me. She is now under the care of a psychiatric and we are looking for a counselor or physiologist to help her as well.
    We read every day, we are trying to get educated, we need help. She needs help. The problem is her ability to make you truly believe she is ok but now we know she is not. Her persistent ways of pretending to be happy are so real that is hard for me to read her.. Anything would help us tremendously. God bless you.

    -Maria C.

  3. Rowan Bowyer says:

    I have a 37 yr old son who has been back living with us for almost 4 yrs. In that time he’s been in hospital for three weeks, lost his job. He’s now on a community order to have injections and is trying to get into regular full time work. I can see he’s really struggling, the side effects and social isolation ect. I’m trying to encourage him to retrain for another skill , my problem is wondering if he actually can work full time. In his previous job he had a few long absences due to his mental health. I would like some advice where I can go to talk about this , I feel as if I’m drowning. I live in Adelaide sa. Many thanks

  4. P. Brown says:

    My partner’s brother was diagnosed as schizophrenic long before I met him. He had been living with another brother but that brother died a couple months ago. We found out that he hadn’t been on any meds for a year. My partner took him back to a doctor so he has restarted some meds now. The thing is I think he is still having problems with delusions or hearing voices. He keeps telling my partner that he heard voices in the woods near the house and that someone is walking around the property at night to steal things. He thinks that cars driving by are people looking at the house with the intent to break in and rob him. It has got to the point where my partner told me she once fired a gun shot late at night to scare off the people he said he heard. I asked her if she ever sees or hears any of the things her brother does and she hasn’t except that cars do slow down when they go by the house. How can I help her to realize her brother needs more help then she can give him? The situation seems out of control to me and I am worried someone is going to get really hurt.

    • David Bell says:

      Thank you for your posting. I have replied to you directly by email for the sake of confidentiality. David, Website Editor.

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