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Mental illness refers to varied types of mental disorders that affect an individualâ€™s daily functioning and cause distress In them. In recent years the focus of the treatment for mentally ill patients has shifted from institution-based treatment to community based treatment. Families living with the patient suffering from chronic mental illness constantly adapt and adjust to the changing conditions of the patientâ€™s illness and family situations (Danielson, Hamel-Bissell, & Winstead-Fry, 1993). The effect of the mental illness of a patient on the family depends on the familyâ€™s knowledge about the mental disorder and their perceived burden about the caretaking process. Familyâ€™s tend to mainly assume the role of the caregiver which increases the distress among the family members (Cook,1988).
The most common problems which were found among the caregivers of individuals with mental illness were anxiety, paranoid ideation, and depression (Saunders,1999). The level of acceptance and resilience decreases the negative effects on the families of individuals with mental illness as they tend to identify their strengths and resources which they can use effectively to deal with the crisis situation (Cuijpers,1999). As the families in recent times have become more accepting and have been psychoeducation due to which the pathology models of family functioning are being replaced by more healthy and positive models of family adjustment and adaptation.
The focus is now more on the strengths of the families and their ways of dealing with a crisis situation.
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