Conundrum For Caregivers

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Care givers: caring for a family member or friend with a physical or mental illness can be stressful, exhausting, both mentally and physically, and creates a physical and psychological strain for the care giver over a period of time. The psychological well-being such as depression and stress, are frequent consequences of caregiving. The age, socioeconomic status, and the availability of informal support that caregivers have access to greatly affect their own health and well being.

Caring for a family member with a mental illness can differ from caring for someone suffering from a physical illness. In addition to the medical care and long term treatment of a family member, an open and liberal view of mental illness is almost an essential in being able to care for someone who is ill. Some feelings that must be acknowledged and processed are: shame; blame; anger; denial and guilt. “A central conundrum for caregivers is how most effectively to draw the boundary between themselves and the mentally ill person in their lives.” (72) In the excerpt In Sickness and in Health, David Karp examines the emotional and physical toll that caring for someone with a mental illness brings. He states that there are two essential ideas that must be incorporated when caring for a spouse with a mental illness, but I believe that they are essential for all caregivers regardless of relationship to the patient. “The first is that they cannot solve the problem.
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Maintaining hope is key for long-term survivors of diseases such as HIV infection and breast cancer. Healthy coping, however, differs from the common societal notion of “positive thinking.” Having the capacity to tolerate and express concerns and emotions not just the ability to put anxieties aside, and additionally, discussing these as well as uncertainties and fears, losses and sadness that usually accompany severe illness is generally
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