Schizophrenia: The Impact On Families Essay

2007 words - 8 pages

Families with a member suffering from any illness may be stressful enough but families with members diagnosed with schizophrenia are often faced with additional challenges such as the “external stressors of social stigma, isolation, and emotional frustration”. Many times, family conflicts arise as members attempt to provide care on an everyday basis (Chien, 2010, pg. xi). “A Beautiful Mind” is a brilliant motion picture directed by Ron Howard that chronicles the life of one John Nash, a prominent mathematician and the challenges he endures throughout his adult life afflicted with a chronic mental illness. “A Beautiful Mind” allows us to gain insight into the stressors that many families undergo when faced with living with a person with schizophrenia. This paper will explore the impact of schizophrenia on the lives of the Nash family as depicted in the aforementioned movie. Exploring the impact of the disease on the Nash family’s life will be followed with a discussion regarding an assessment conducted of the family, through the use of the Calgary Family Assessment model. Conducting the assessment allowed us to determine two nursing priorities, and nursing interventions in relation to them through the use of the Calgary intervention model. Essentially it becomes evident that the challenges faced by the Nash family are in the functional domain. The families inability to effectively communicate and problem solve becomes evident, which is negatively impacting the families ability to function effectively. Our nursing interventions guided by the Calgary Nursing Intervention Model will focus on providing the Nash family with the support needed to bring about change in the affective domain in foster effective communication with the family; additionally we will provide them with the knowledge needed to bring about cognitive change in relationship to John’s diagnose in order to positively influence the family’s instrumental functioning.
Chien suggests that having a family member with schizophrenia, and additionally the burden of being a primary caregiver can be a significant one (2010). The impact of this burden on the family members, impacts the psychological, physical and social domain. The impact becomes evident upon witnessing the day-to-day lives of the Nash family in the movie “A Beautiful Mind”. Following John’s initial psychotic episode, which occurs after his marriage to his wife Alicia. Alicia expresses mixed emotions after witnessing her husband in unexplained distress. Her reaction is one of confusion, fear and concern for her husband; however, her frustration is also evident in her expressing her concern by banging the door and asking for answers with a raised voice. This is the initial psychological stress that Wilson describes that may occur in families following the initial signs of psychosis (2010). The strain upon the relationship between John and his wife becomes evident as his disease progresses. Alicia’s fear of John’s behavior is...

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