Volume 77, Issue 2 (2017), pp. 73–88
The goal of this article is to analyze the challenges that arise from stigma and that relatives of people with Schizophrenia face in their relationships in primary social network. Schizophrenia does not only change everyday life and relationships of the ill but also of their relatives. This topic is not researched in Lithuania. Meanwhile in the international context, the biggest attention is paid to the subjective and objective burden that relatives of the people with Schizophrenia face, leaving aside the changes and dynamics in their relationships. Therefore, in this article the influence of the stigmatization on the relationships in the closest environment of patient is discussed. In order to achieve this goal, qualitative research has been completed and 15 half-structured interviews with the people who have relatives, who suffer from Schizophrenia, were carried out. The relation to the person with Schizophrenia varied according to the individual cases – some of them were spouses, some where children, parents, siblings or further relatives. The results of the research reveal that Schizophrenia causes complex emotional experiences of patient’s family members, and gives an effect on relationships within the family, as well as on relationships of the ill and his family members with further relatives, friends, neighbors and colleagues.