An exploration on the psychosocial experiences of Tswana caregivers of people living with schizophrenia in Mafikeng, North West
Schizophrenia is deemed to be one of the utmost severe mental disorders that disrupts the functioning of both the persons living with it, and those around them (Mosotho, Louw, & Caltz, 2011). This much-misunderstood disorder can be disabling and can impair one's life functioning to such a degree that the people living with it may need care from the people around them. Caring is a process, and within that process different caregivers may be exposed to different psychosocial experiences. It places a significant physical, cognitive, and emotional burden (stigma, anxiety, depression etc.) on the person living with the disorder and on their caregivers, and furthermore, it also has enormous financial consequences for those involved (McEvoy, 2007). The lack of research pertaining to the psychosocial experiences of caregivers of people living with schizophrenia in the North West province of South Africa led the researcher to conduct a study of this nature in the North West, particularly in Mafikeng. The researcher utilised a phenomenological design, which is considered to be a qualitative research approach. The study used snowball sampling, a sampling technique whereby participants introduce the researcher to other possible participants, and in this way, the study sample comprised six female Tswana caregivers aged 19-64 years. Data was analysed thematically, whereby the researcher linked the participants' feelings, beliefs, and experiences in order reach understanding and to create meaning. Although two major themes were derived from the data, the findings revealed stigmatisation as the dominant principal observation leading to these two themes. The results also revealed that even in the face of challenges in the process of caregiving, resilience and their belief in God serve as caregivers' coping strategies.
- Health Sciences