November 20, 2006

Intimacy: An Important Aspect in Recovery

Relationships can be more difficult for people with severe mental illness, but just as satisfying. Contrary to those who say that patients with schizophrenia should avoid intimate relationships for fear the stress might worsen their condition, some researchers are suggesting that intimate relationships are an important aspect of a fulfilling life. People have similar social aspirations (such as finding a compatible intimate partner to share life with) regardless of "diagnosis status". Healthy relationships can provide stability and support - essential aspects in recovery.

With cases of HIV rising, and with the infection rate much higher in those with serious mental illnesses, some researchers, caregivers and patients themselves, feel that safe-sex and relationship issues should be incorporated into patient therapy and educational programs.

One issue that arises when dating, is when to bring up the subject about one's illness. Other relationship issues pertain to effects of breakthrough symptoms caused by the illness in spite of medications, and the possible sexual side-effects of some of the medications.

Read the Full Article: Embracing intimacy: Counselors for people with mental illness are slowly realizing they need to address their clients' sex lives (Philadelphia Inquirer 13 November 2006)

Additional Reading:
Sexual Side Effects of Antipsychotic Meds
A two-way communication checklist for doctors appointments


Relationships are very important - especially intimate ones!

Posted by: Uncle Sam at December 2, 2006 06:32 AM

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