Insight and quality of life in chizophrenia spectrum disorders

An examination of their paradoxical relationship
  • Paul H. Lysaker
  • Shira Louria

While interest has grown steadily in understanding how persons with schizophrenia appraise their disorder and subsequent needs, the nature of the impact of awareness or admission of disorder on various domains of quality of life has remained a matter of considerable debate. At the level of both theory and empirical study it has been alternately held that acknowledgement of one’s mental illness is a detriment and a key to successful adaptation. From one perspective, acceptance of illness has been advanced as a key to making informed decisions about one’s future, to free oneself from blame for difficulties linked with illness and to forming bonds with others who are aware of one’s difficulties. From another view, however, “awareness of illness” has been suggested to represent the acceptance of a system of social power in which one’s individuality and dignity is at risk of being diminished. Indeed empirical studies suggest both awareness and lack of awareness have significant risks associated with them. In this chapter we review this evidence and present data which suggest that the impact of insight on quality of life may be mitigated by the degree to which persons have internalized stigmatizing beliefs about their illness. Clinical and theoretical implications are discussed

Awareness Quality of life Schizophrenia 


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Copyright information

© springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul H. Lysaker
    • 1
  • Shira Louria
    • 2
  1. 1.Roudebush VA Medical CenterThe Indiana University School of Medicine, IndianapolisUSA
  2. 2.School of Psychological ScienceUniversity of IndianapolisIN

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