Navigation Links
Bearing through it: How caregivers of mentally ill kin can cope
Date:5/19/2011

This release is available in French.

Montreal, May 19, 2010 Caring for a family member with a mental illness can be a taxing experience marked by personal sacrifices and psychological problems.

A new study from Concordia University, AMI-Qubec and the University of British Columbia has found family caregivers can experience high levels of stress, self-blame, substance abuse and depressive symptoms unless they refocus their priorities and lighten their load.

"Being the principal caregiver to a mentally ill family member is a stressor that often creates high levels of burden and contributes to depressive symptoms," says lead author Carsten Wrosch, a professor in the Concordia University Department of Psychology and a member of the Centre for Research in Human Development.

"Caring for a relative with a mental illness can be strenuous such caregivers can even be more burdened than caregivers of dementia patients," Wrosch continues. "That said, even in this situation, caregivers can experience high levels of wellbeing if they adjust their goals and use effective coping strategies."

Published in the May issue of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the investigation followed family caregivers over a 17-month period and found those who reset priorities fared better. The research team expected that caregivers who are capable of adjusting important life goals (e.g., career, vacation, etc.) would cope better with caregiving stress and that this resilient process would protect their emotional wellbeing.

"We found participants who had an easier time abandoning goals blamed themselves less frequently for problems associated with caregiving and used alcohol or drugs less frequently to regulate their emotions," says co-author Ella Amir, a Concordia graduate and executive director at AMI-Qubec, a grassroots organization committed to helping families manage the effects of mental illness.

"Avoiding self-blame and substance use, in turn, was associated with less caregiver burden and depressive symptoms," continues Amir. "Being able to disengage from goals is protective against depressive symptoms, partly because it reduces the likelihood of coping through self-blame and substance use."

Caregivers can become overstretched

While pursuing new goals was found to provide purpose to family caregivers, taking on novel pastimes could add to their strain. "Caregivers can become stretched too thin if they pursue too many goals and that may distract them from addressing stress levels that elevate their burden," says Wrosch.

"Pursuing new goals it a double-edged sword," he adds. "It provides purpose, but also increases caregiving burden, since there are times when a family member's illness suddenly takes a turn for the worse. And stressors can crop up unexpectedly in other close relationships or in the workplace."

Of the 121 people who completed the study, most were about 60 years old and had cared for a relative for an average 16 years. What's more:

  • 78 percent of caregivers were women and 22 percent were men;
  • 57 percent had received an undergraduate degree or higher;
  • 73 per cent were married or cohabitating with a partner;
  • 41 per cent had relatives diagnosed with schizophrenia;
  • 37 per cent had relatives diagnosed with a mood disorder;
  • 22 per cent had relatives diagnosed with other mental health conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins
s-j.desjardins@concordia.ca
514-848-2424 x5068
Concordia University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Weight-bearing exercise does not prevent increased bone turnover during weight loss
2. Toys"R"Us, Inc. Expands its Support of Autism Speaks Throughout North America
3. CVS/pharmacy Begins Free Health Screenings in Communities Nationwide Through A Su Salud Program
4. Human Dental Technology Leads to Breakthroughs for Pet Dental Health at Sergeants Pet Care Products, Inc.
5. Southridge LLC Provides Equity Capital Through Private Agreement with PuraMed Bioscience
6. HITSP Contract With U.S. HHS Extended Through April 2010
7. First Breakthrough in Water Heating Technology!
8. Check City Announces New Payday Affiliate Campaign Through Partnership With The Share A Sale Affiliate Network
9. New DNA technique leads to a breakthrough in child cancer research
10. Northern Illinois Proton Center on the Verge of Major Medical Breakthrough
11. US Oncology Announces Expanded Educational Resources to Cancer Patients Through New Affiliations with CURE & NexCura
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Bearing through it: How caregivers of mentally ill kin can cope
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The American Board of ... its next President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Dr. James C. Puffer upon his ... July 1, 2018 until Dr. Puffer’s retirement at the end of 2018. Upon assuming ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... PharmD ‘17, and Jennifer Huggins, PharmD ’17, along with clinical associate professor ... prevention of cardiovascular diseases during the 15th Annual Women’s Health Conference. The ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many families have ... many long-term care insurance companies have a waiver for care if the client has ... period, when the family pays for care, is often waived, so the benefits from ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual ... in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon ... fun run is geared towards children of all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... and Agile Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the Center for ... Agreement (BPA) aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE: ... drug administration, today announced that it will release third-quarter ... October 26, 2017, and will follow with a conference ... 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. To participate on the call, ... ID is 94093362. ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... Oct. 10, 2017  NDS received FDA 510(k) clearance in May ... battery-powered display stand specifically designed for endoscopy environments. An innovative secondary ... a clinical solution to support the improvement of patient outcomes, procedural ... ... ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... Mass. , Oct. 4, 2017  According to the Centers for ... the end of October . PhysicianOne Urgent Care is helping communities across ... Westchester, NY , by offering no-cost* flu shots through the ... as mandated by certain health insurance regulations. ... The best time to get a flu shot is by the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: