Quality of Life and Marital adjustment in spouses of schizophrenia patients
Schizophrenia is a chronic disabling; psychiatric disorder that affects around 1% of the population and its point prevalence is 0.6 to 8.3 cases per 1000 population. 1,2Caregiving in psychiatric illness is an exhausting and challenging activity that typically involves a considerable amount of energy, time and money over considerably long periods of time, in tasks that may be unpleasant or uncomfortable and could be psychologically and physically stressful and tiring.3
Caregiving to mentally unstable people can be particularly challenging in traditional societies such as India. The close - knit family structure and lack of adequate government resources to support people with mental illness place the burden of care on the family which is perceived to be the ‘‘natural’’ caregiver. Socio-cultural expectations envision caregiving as an obligation and moral binding which is to be given by parents, children or the spouse. Religious-cultural attributions often causally implicate supernatural factors in the manifestation of mental illness.
Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that usually starts in late adolescence or early adulthood, and is characterized by profound disruption in thinking, language, perception and the sense of self, and includes psychotic experiences, such as hearing voices or delusions. 6
The volatile nature of the disorder and its accompanying debilitating consequences burdens the family in multiple domains causing social, emotional and financial problems. Several studies had done worldwide reveal a high level of burden, social isolation and stigma among caregivers of schizophrenia. Indian data in this area is relatively sparse however some studies reports the presence of depression, anxiety, poor mental and physical health and other mental disorders among the caregivers. In view of the above the present study was undertaken to evaluate the quality of life and marital adjustment in spouses of schizophrenia patients.