Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 184-194

Care giving of people with severe mental illness: An Indian experience

1 Department of Psychiatric Social Work, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Programme Officer (Former), Basic Needs India, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
3 Secretary (Deceased), Basic Needs India, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
4 Advisor, Basic Needs India, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Navaneetham Janardhana
Department of Psychiatric, Social Work, Dr. M. V. Govinda Swamy Block, NIMHANS, Bangaluru 560 029, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7176.155619

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Background: Caring is a fundamental issue in the rehabilitation of a person with mental illness and more so for people with severe mental illness. The lack of adequate manpower resources in the country is adding and enlisting the responsibility of providing care on the families to provide physical, medical, social and psychological care for their severely unwell mentally ill people. Aim of the Study: To examine the load of caregiving with reference to the types of care during the symptomatic and remission phases of severe mental illness and the various ways in which caregivers adapt their lives to meet the needs of people with severe mental illness. Materials and Methods: The present research draws its data from the 200 families with mental illness in Andra Pradesh and Karnataka in India. The data presented in the study was collected from interviews using an interview schedule with open-ended questions. Results: The study diffuses the notion of 'care' as 'physical', 'medical, 'psychological' and 'social' care. The present article focuses on the caregiving roles of the caregivers of people with schizophrenia, affective disorders and psychosis not otherwise specified (NOS) and found that the caregiving does not differ much between the different diagnosis, but caregiving roles changes from active involvement in physical and medical care to more of social and psychological care during the remission. Conclusion: The study records the incredulous gratitude of caregivers at being acknowledged for the work they do. In that regard, the study itself provides a boost to the morale of tired, unacknowledged caregivers.

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