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06 Feb 2004

I have a brother in law who has schizophrenia. Is is healthy for the family to hide the fact that he has the illness and to keep him away from society. Their reasoning is that society might hurt him. He also appears to be relapsing even though he has just been released from a mental institute. Is there anything the family can do to assist him. Please help.!!!!!!!!!!!
Answer 299 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear concerned,
Obviously, most of all, this is something your family needs to discuss with the doctors etc currently treating your brother-in-law. There are different types of schizophrenia, of differing seriousness, needing varying treatment, and disabling to the patient to a varying degree. Yes, I'd agree that nobody, with any illness, needs to feel that his family is somehow ashamed of him and hiding him from society. On the other hand, people within society can be very cruel, especially if someone behaves oddly or even just differently. Many different factors can play a part in causing a relapse of the illness, which could include running into social stressors and rejection, or experiencing highly emotional pressures at home. As the condition can vary so much individually, as can the person's needs and their responses to treatment, this really is something that needs to be discussed with the treating doctors, asking clearly and persistently for them to give you useful and understandable guidelines as to how best to be helpful ( the doctors far too often forget to do this on their own, and forget that the family can be a significant help or hindrance in helping someone to get better, and need to be well informed ).
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