A report published in the May issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology finds that caregivers of family members with mental illness can maintain wellbeing if they are flexible about their own goals and employ effective coping strategies.
Researchers followed family caregivers for 17 months and found that people who were able to change their goals and reset them as needed, were less likely to blame themselves, and use alcohol or drugs to cope. This in turn, resulted in less stress for the caregivers, and decreased frequency of depression.
The study also showed that caregivers who pursued too many goals, without being able to flex them when the family member’s mental illness took a turn for the worse, found themselves overstretched and stressed.
This research was conducted by a team from Concordia University, AMI-Quebec and the University of British Columbia.
To read the full article, go to www.psycnet.apa.org.