Caregivers of mentally ill face guilt, stress

A study conducted at Concordia University, AMI-Quebec and the University of British Columbia found that families who are tending to the needs of patients who are mentally ill may face unique challenges to their personal well-being. 

"Caring for a relative with a mental illness can be strenuous - such caregivers can even be more burdened than caregivers of dementia patients," researcher Carsten Wrosch explained.

Caregivers of mentally ill face guilt, stress "That said, even in this situation, caregivers can experience high levels of well-being if they adjust their goals and use effective coping strategies."

The problem may be most pronounced for those who can't accommodate a loved one and abandon some of their own ambitions. Simply being capable of detaching oneself from some goals can help fight against depression and other emotional stress. Self-blame and substance abuse appeared to be other major factors in harming personal health.

Experts suggest that many caregivers become so occupied with watching after another person that they forget about themselves. Diet, exercise, social lives and hobbies can all be put on hold during one's responsibilities, but breaks can offer a reprieve for overwhelmed individuals. Hiring skilled nursing services can be one way to keep a senior safe at home while caregivers enjoy time off.  

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