Families Affected By Mental Illness

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A lot of mental challenges make the life of a patient miserable since they are unable to live a normal life. The differences between the life of a mentally stable and mentally ill person are different, and their quality of life differs. The challenges affect not only the patient but also their families.

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The families suffer stress which then develops into more advanced psychological problems. The social distance between a patient and relatives also increases once the patient becomes a burden to them when their lives demand support by other people. The society stigmatizes the patients and their family, and this makes the life of the entire family uncomfortable (Thornicroft, 2006). Different families use different approaches to solve the challenges that come with mental illness of a family member. Also, most of the families need different kinds of help such as counseling, financial and medical depending on capabilities of the families.

Due to lack of financial abilities and believing in traditional healers, many of the families chose the traditional healers over professionals who deal with mentally challenged patients. However, there are others who never seek any help, and it remains unclear why they never take any action towards ensuring they seek assistance so that they can recover (Link, et al, 2001). However, although many people know that their relatives are suffering from mental illness, they never consider it as a serious matter. Some consider it as a curse, witchcraft, and possession by evil spirits. They at times seek divine intervention from the religious leaders. The patient is accused of being the main contributor. The majority of patients never seek support for their patients because they fear victimization. Even those who have relatives who know how to deal with mental illness find it difficult to humble themselves and seek support since they expect the disorder to heal on its own. Consequently, only a few of the cases are brought to the attention of the relevant authorities. The burden of the illness is mainly on the shoulders of the family members, and they also suffer stress.


  1. The needs of the relatives with people living with mental illness are mostly neglected because only a few individuals and institutions are willing to listen to their issues and the challenges they go through in their day-to-day life. The best outcomes can be obtained if people can start addressing the needs of such families in the public domain. Addressing such challenges in a public platform will create awareness and well-wishers will come up and volunteer to drive the agenda further to personal levels.
  2. Nursing professionals should also join the efforts and help their clients understand more about the topic. Awareness will create some improvement regarding skills the victim have and how they use the tips to improve their quality of life.

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