Schizophrenia and Relationships :The Effect of Mental Illness on Sexuality

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Schizophrenia and Relationships :The Effect of Mental Illness on Sexuality

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Schizophrenia and Relationships :The Effect of Mental Illness on Sexuality
Author(s) Östman, Margareta ; Björkman, Ann-Christine
Date 2013
English abstract
This paper seeks to investigate the impact of mental illness on the sexuality of patients with a schizophrenic disorder who live in the community in a long-term relationship with a partner. We conducted qualitative, in-depth interviews with five such patients who were in treatment at a psychiatric outpatient clinic, and three of their partners. The data were analyzed by thematic analysis and identified the following areas of concern: relationships outweigh sexuality; uncertainties about one’s sexual capacity; the dwindling of sexual fantasies, feelings of desire, and satisfaction; and, a lack of communication and support in sexual matters. Both patients and partners reported feeling overlooked by psychiatric services as sexual beings. They also expressed dissatisfaction with a patient-therapist treatment model that excluded their partners. Our findings indicate that dysfunctional sexuality affects both patients suffering from severe mental illness and their partners. Patients and partners deplore the lack of opportunity to discuss questions related to their sexuality and long-term relationships with psychiatric clinicians. Sexual problems arising from, or exacerbated by, schizophrenia require supportive services, whether in the form of general, psychiatric, or couples therapy.
DOI (link to publisher's fulltext)
Publisher Walsh Medical Media
Host/Issue Clinical Schizophrenia & Related Psychoses;1
Volume 7
ISSN 1935-1232
Pages 20-24
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Schizophrenia
Dysfunctional Sexuality
Need of Support
Couples Therapy
Research Subject Categories::MEDICINE
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