Studies have shown
that the quality of the relationship between siblings has great significance
for the mentally ill sibling’s overall quality of life. Sibling relationships
may be particularly important because few adults with severe mental illness
have children. As parents grow older, adult children are expected to support
their sibling with mental illness when their parents are no longer able to do so. The sibling relationship has the potential to be one of the most significant relationships for adults with
schizophrenia. The aim of this paper is to present a case study of a sister’s
experiences and needs in her contact with
psychiatric care. This single case study was designed and the informant
was recruited because of her value in maximizing what we can learn about
being a sibling to a person with mental illness. Data were collected through
four indepth, semistructured, repeated interviews during a two-year period,
and were interpreted and analyzed through
content analysis. Three major topics were discussed: 1) Anna’s
brother’s time with formal psychiatric care; 2) Anna’s feelings and emotions;
and 3) Anna’s view of her contact with psychiatric care. The findings indicated
a sibling’s need for attention, support, and
understanding from the formal caregivers. Participation in our study
was one of the first opportunities she had to talk about her relationship
with formal psychiatric care. An open dialogue may help siblings to manage
Cite this paper
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