An article published online by the journal Archives of Psychiatric Nursing:
Loss and Grief in Patients With Schizophrenia: On Living in Another WorldPosting of this abstract is for the purposes of research into schizophrenia.
By Maria Mauritz (a, b) and Berno van Meijela (b)
(a) Support and Psychosis Programme of the Mental Health Care Unit GGNet in Zevenaar, The Netherlands
(b) Inholland University in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Schizophrenia enormously impacts the lives of the patients who have this psychiatric disorder. This study addresses the lived experience of grief in schizophrenia.
A qualitative study based on the grounded theory was designed. Ten patients were interviewed in depth on their feelings of loss and ways of coping.
All respondents experienced significant feelings of loss. Internal and external losses were distinguished. Respondents dealt with their losses by accepting their diagnosis and treatment, identifying with other patients, learning about schizophrenia, and searching for meaning.
Respondents were able to identify their significant losses and verbalize the accompanied feelings. They went through an intensive grieving process that to a certain extent led to coming to terms. During the interviews, the presence of grief was evident, whereas clinical depression was excluded.
Interventions may be improved by the following factors: (a) optimal assessment and treatment of symptoms; (b) adequate information about symptoms, treatment and its effects, and prognosis; (c) opportunities to identify with other patients; (d) strengthening of social support; and (e) a relationship of trust with care providers based on an accepting attitude.