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Educating the Family regarding Serious Mental Illness

  • By: Christine Calmes, Lisa Dixon & Amy Drapalski
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

An individual is judged to have a mental illness if he or she experiences a mental, behavioral, or emotional problem that meets criteria for a disorder according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition that results in functional impairment that significantly limits major life activities. Psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, and major mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder, are most frequently categorized as serious mental illnesses. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, approximately 8% of adults met criteria for a serious mental illness in 2002. This entry reviews the role of the family in recovery from serious mental illness, introduces family interventions for individuals with serious mental illness and their ...

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