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Article Published In Vol.4 (Jan-Feb-2016)

Burden among Caregivers of Mentally- Ill Patients: A Review

Pages : 109-118

Author : Dr. Meeta Malhotra

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The family is the primary unit of which the individual is a member. This being the case everyone in the family plays a major role in the welfare and difficulties of an individual. If a person’s performance or social functioning is inadequate or affected, it may lead togreater burden on the family. In such situations, the occurrence of mental illness in the family is perceived as a trauma, which causes family members considerable stress and distress. Despite these tribulations, most families elect to shoulder this burden. The family is an important support system in the care of the mentally ill in the community. The family’s responsibility in providing care for people with mental disorders has increased in the past three decades. This has been mainly due to a trend towards community care and the de-institutionalization of psychiatric patients. This review focuses on the different problems faced by the caregivers. Majority of studies found that the caregivers are caught between demands of caring and looking after families. Moreover different groups of caregivers i.e. parents and spouse experience different sets of problems. Mental health professionals need to be aware of and address the stress borne by the family in caring for patients with mental illness as they take care of patient.

Keywords: Caregiving, Mental illness, Family, Burden




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