Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 440-447

Perception about marriage among caregivers of patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

1 National Institute of Nursing Education, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Sandeep Grover
Department of Psychiatry, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_18_19

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Background: Marriage has a complex relationship with mental illness. The marriage of a person with mental illness (PMI) is a controversial issue with varied opinions. There is a dearth of studies exploring perception about marriage among caregivers of patients with severe mental disorders. Materials and Methods: Thirty caregivers were interviewed in depth using a semi-structured interview schedule. Quantitative data were analyzed using MS Excel, while qualitative data were interpreted based on Colaizzi's framework. Results: About half (53%) of the caregivers believed that PMI should marry, and 46% of caregivers believed that marriage could worsen the mental illness of their patient. The qualitative analysis showed that factors that affect the decision among caregivers to get their mentally ill wards married include shovelling off the stigma of keeping the unmarried ward at home and to have somebody to take care of the unmarried ward after their death. Many caregivers believe that marriage and/or sexual intercourse can be a cure/treatment for various mental disorders. Conclusion: Caregivers of patients with severe mental illness have many misconceptions about the association of marriage and outcome of mental illnesses.

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