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Schizophrenia and the Family

  • By: Kim T. Mueser
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Schizophrenia is a major adult mental illness characterized by hallucinations, delusions, reduced motivation and drive, and cognitive impairments that has a significant impact on all aspects of functioning, including work and school, social relationships, and self-care and independent living skills. Although schizophrenia was once thought to be caused by disturbed family interaction patterns, it is now understood that the cause of the disease is biological, while it also interacts with the environment. Because the onset of schizophrenia usually occurs in late adolescence or early adulthood, the family members are often involved in first recognizing signs of the disturbance in their relative and then assisting him or her in obtaining treatment and getting his or her living needs met.

Schizophrenia can be a confusing illness, both for ...

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