The Lived Experience of a Family Member Who Suffers from Mental Illness

by Fior-Nossek, Felicia Mary

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of this study was to discover the lived experience of family members of those who suffer from chronic mental illness. Van Manen’s method of phenomenology was used for data collection and analysis. Five participants described their experience of being a family member of one who suffers from chronic mental illness. The nursing framework used to conceptualize this study was Friedemann’s Systemic Organization (1995). Five essential themes emerged to reveal their lived experience: (a) participants experienced unmet needs, stigma ,and incongruence within the environment; (b) coping with multiple stressors that stemmed from the unpredictable overwhelming symptomatology and behaviors; (c) the effects of system change on the family system; when a family member suffers from mental illness.(d) a lack of control over changes occurring within the system; and (e) spirituality provided strength, faith, courage, and resilience that facilitated the ability of family members to endure and reach a level of acceptance of the mental illness.
Bibliographical Information:


School:University of Toledo Health Science Campus

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:mental illness family member chronic lived experience


Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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