In the context of contemporary psychiatry, most patients live in their family’s home, which
leads to cohabitation of brothers and sisters with the schizophrenic sibling. Having briefly alluded to the
change in the role granted to the families of patients in psychiatric care, the present article reveals the
intrapsychic and interpersonal issues involved in this cohabitation. Discussion turns around clinical
practice with the brothers and sisters of schizophrenic patients and on research work (questionnaires filled
in by 600 people who are brothers and sisters of schizophrenic patients and qualitative research covering
the relations inside the group of siblings). The results lead to recommending, for preventive and curative
ends, greater consideration for what the siblings experience within the families of origin that include a
schizophrenic child. A merely educational and informative response is not adequate if it is not integrated
within a more global approach to provide support for the relation.
Keywords: Schizophrenia, siblings, psychiatry, reform of the health system, identity, differentiation.
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