The existence of schizophrenic patient in a family makes the family feel depressed or stressed. Unbalanced division of family roles, financial constraints, and lack of family understanding to accept schizophrenic patient cause the family to feel burdened.
Meanwhile, outside the family there is stigma from the community, limited social support and inaccessible mental health services are also causing family’s stress. High stress decreases the ability of families to provide the care and it can lead to a relapse in schizophrenic patient.
The stress experienced by the family is determined by how the family view the difficult situation at hand. Families need help from health professionals, including nurses, especially to modify the family’s perspective on the causes of stress, which was initially considered a threat, heavy burden, and trouble that was faced alone to be a challenge motivating the family together, faced together by all family members so they were determined to look after a schizophrenic patient. If managed properly, the stress experienced by the family can be managed well and make the family more resilient.
The family resilience model developed in this study involved 137 families and the intervention focused on harnessing the strengths of the family to manage stress and stimulating families to be more resilient so they could provide better care for the patient. The intervention began with an analysis of family strength, risk factors, and measuring the level of stress experienced by the family.
Furthermore, families are taught about how managing family stress, specifically by changing family’s perspectives regarding the causes of stress. Families are guided to understand that looking after for family member with schizophrenia is a must, an obligation, and a very meaningful kindness for the patient and the family. Families are helped to adapt to these situations so that they are able to be relieved from the stress they experience through the family resilience model.
Family resilience is developed through five stages, surviving, adjusting, accepting, growing stronger, and helping others. The surviving stage is a family effort to survive the existing situation, the family sets goals to survive and has not thought about doing or trying new skills in getting solutions to existing problems.
The adjustment stage is a situation in which the family begins to change the division of roles in the family and daily habits so the family able to face problems. The adjustment phase is the beginning of the family’s ability to carry out the adaptation process, the family begins to accept the new reality that there is a family member who are sick with schizophrenia. The stage of growing stronger is reached when the family has grown better due to various problems and the family has found the meaning of the struggles they endured.
The stage of helping others is a sign that the family has reached resilience, where the family is able to provide support to systems outside the family facing similar problems. Families are able to independently and confidently provide support to other families. The family will grow stronger and more resilient and able to meet the daily needs of patients such as eating, drinking, dressing, cleaning themselves, being more obedient in undergoing treatment, consistently making efforts to prevent relapse and helping the patient carry out social interactions.
Author: Rizki Fitryasari