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Psychiatric Quarterly

, Volume 84, Issue 1, pp 93–102 | Cite as

When and How Should I Tell? Personal Disclosure of a Schizophrenia Diagnosis in the Context of Intimate Relationships

  • Mary V. Seeman
Review Paper

Abstract

Clinicians are frequently asked for advice on what to tell prospective marriage partners about a history of mental illness. The aim of this paper is to develop guidelines for disclosure. An electronic search was conducted of the stigma, secrecy, communication, sociology, and matchmaking literatures as they pertain to mental illness, especially to schizophrenia. The conclusion was that pre-existing psychiatric conditions must be shared with prospective marriage partners once these partners have proven trustworthy. The recommendation is that disclosure be done in stages and that discussions continue, with attempts made to address all relevant issues and address the partner’s concerns. Although schizophrenia does not define who a person is, the diagnosis and its implications are important and need to be shared with prospective marriage partners.

Keywords

Schizophrenia Disclosure Concealment Marriage Stigma 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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