The difficulties faced by family and carers of people with schizophrenia are discussed in this article. It talks about general and local issues including load and expressed emotion as well as the dearth of funding for family-specific treatments and service provision. The global trend of deinstitutionalizing chronic schizophrenia patients exacerbates these difficulties.
The Burden Concept
Caregiving for a family member who has schizophrenia can lead to stressful situations for the caretakers, a condition called “burden”. This includes severe emotional and psychosocial issues, challenging circumstances, and unfortunate occurrences that have an adverse effect on the caregiver’s health, social life, and money. According to one definition, “burden” refers to how much caretakers feel their responsibility for a sick relative is burdening them.
There are two types of load: family burden, which affects the entire family, and individual burden, which affects just one caregiver or family member. It covers both the objective requirements of providing care and the caregivers’ subjective responses to those requirements.
The term “burden” is used to describe both subjective and objective load. Subjective burden refers to the psychological emotions and impacts that the sickness has on caregivers’ well-being.
Professionals might not completely understand the effects of looking after a mentally ill relative on the caregiver because caregivers frequently don’t convey their stress. Yet, as knowledge about this load spreads, people will be more aware of it, and these family members should get the assistance they require to relieve their burden.
The Effect of Expressing Emotion on Schizophrenia
A complicated relationship between the patient and their family that reflects the conditions and effects of mental illness is called expressed emotion. It is gauged by antagonism, negative or favorable remarks, excessive emotional engagement, and warmth. High expressed emotion families are hostile, critical, and overly involved, while low expressed emotion families are cheerful, empathetic, calm, and respectful. These factors have an impact on relapse rates. Families with highly expressed emotions frequently believe that patients can manage their symptoms.
Schizophrenia patients’ families bear a heavy burden and lack knowledge about the disease and its ramifications, such as expressed emotion. To lessen their burden and provide support, more tools and training are required. Families need to understand the negative consequences of judgmental and overbearing actions, which can lead to relapse in patients.