1st Edition

Families Coping with Mental Illness Stories from the US and Japan

By Yuko Kawanishi Copyright 2006
    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    When someone develops a mental illness, the impact on the family is often profound. The most common treatment processes, however, focus on the patient while the loved ones are relegated to subordinate roles and sometimes even viewed as barriers to effective recovery. Families Coping with Mental Illness approaches these issues from the family's perspective, studying how they react to initial diagnosis, adjust to new circumstances, and cope with the situation.

    Through her own original research in the United States and Japan, Kawanishi presents a cross-cultural experience of mental illness that examine both psychological and sociological issues, making this book suitable to all international fields engaging with diversity and mental health. Including first-hand accounts along with analysis and discussion, Kawanishi gives voice to family members and adeptly identifies universal themes of resilience, adaptability, and strength of the family unit. This innovative text offers a unique viewpoint that will appeal to a wide audience of professionals and non-professionals from a variety of backgrounds.

    Acknowledgements. Introduction. Part I: Overview. Mental Illness in the Family: What Does it Mean. Part II: The First Signs of Mental Illness: How the Symptoms Emerged and Became Permanent. Early Impressions. Family Response and Family Feelings. Part III: What Happens to the Family System? Intrafamily Interactions: The Marital and Parent-child Relationships. Other Dimensions of Family Interactions. Part IV: Learning to Understand the New Reality of Illness. Why Did the Illness Strike? Families Look for Meaning. A Better Understanding of Chronic Mental Illness: Accepting Reality. Part V: Living with Mental Illness: Sources of Strength. Becoming Active Agents: Doing Something. Mental Coping. How Can They Go On?


    Yuko Kawanishi, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the International Student Exchange Center, Tokyo Gakugei University, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Temple University (Japan), and an Affiliated Scholar, East Asian Studies Center, University of Southern California. After receiving her Ph.D. in sociology from UCLA in 1993, Dr. Kawanishi researched and traveled in the United States and Japan.

    'Families Coping with Mental Illness provides an intimate, compassionate glimpse into the lives of families struggling and learning how to manage a mental illness in a family member' - Kim T. Mueser, Ph.D, Professor of Psychiatry and Community and Family Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School, USA

    'This is an unusual, indeed unique, book. Families affected with schizophrenia or other severe mental illness will find this well-written and thoroughly engaging book extremely helpful in their own attempts to cope.' - E. Fuller Torrey, M.D, Associate Director for Laboratory Research, The Stanley Medical Institute, USA