Caregiving and schizophrenia: The well siblings' perspective




Dodge, Christopher E.

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The purpose of this study was to explore the meanings well siblings attribute to their experiences caring for a brother or sister with schizophrenia. This study retrospectively examined changes in the nature of the relationship between the well and ill siblings before, during, and after the diagnosis of schizophrenia. Ten well sibling caregivers of people with schizophrenia participated in the study. The findings suggest that the sibling relationship was strong in childhood yet weakened in adolescence which influenced the well sibling’s caregiving involvement. During the onset of the illness, well siblings spoke about the changes they noticed in their sibling’s personality, behaviour, and lifestyle choices and sought professional help. The diagnosis of schizophrenia and the illness resulted in marked changes in the relationship between well and ill siblings. Well siblings spoke about struggling with their ill sibling’s dependency and with having to balance their own lives with their caregiving responsibilities.



Schizophrenia, Severe Mental Illness, Caregiving, Sibling, Support, Family, Mental health, Social, Brother, Sister, Care, Perspective, Psychosis, Relationship, Development, Psychiatry, Bond, Well, Ill, Burden