Journal of Psychiatry and Brain Functions

Journal of Psychiatry and Brain Functions

ISSN 2055-3447
Case report

Expressed emotion – a determinant of relapse in schizophrenia: a case report and literature review

Arpita Goswami Banerjee* and Carolina Retamero

*Correspondence: Arpita Goswami Banerjee

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


Expressed emotion (EE) pertains to care giver's attitude towards a person with a mental disorder. It is a characteristic of the family milieu that has been found to be one of the major psychosocial stressors and an important predictor of symptom relapse in a wide range of psychiatric disorders. Research on EE was initiated early in the 1950s, and the researchers observed that close emotional ties between families could lead to minimum stimulation and social withdrawal by a patient suffering from schizophrenia. They also observed that such patients were more likely to relapse when living with close relatives who had negative attitudes. The communication patterns in families with high EE relatives are usually characterized by intense and confronting verbal exchanges. The authors present the case of a young African American male with acute relapse of symptoms of schizophrenia in the background of a family with high EE.

Keywords: Expressed emotion, schizophrenia, psychiatric disorders, relapse

ISSN 2055-3447
Volume 1
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