Mental illness as a source of family stress

Katarzyna Tomaszewska, Bożena Majchrowicz, Alicja Kłos, Elżbieta Sobejko



Mental illness has been a cause of concerns in society for centuries. To this day, although we have access to a wide range of information, many people stigmatize and isolate people suffering from this type of disorder. It is difficult to say what is the reason for this, the inability to act, ignorance or irrational fear. It is a fact that people with mental disorders arouse anxiety, aversion and even fear in us. This is why the sick themselves, as well as indirectly their loved ones, are often pushed to the margins of society, which is a source of stress they feel.

Aim of the paper: To show the problem of mental illness in the family and the extent to which it affects the stress experienced by its members.

Material and methods: The research was conducted on the area of Jarosław County among 103 family members of people diagnosed with mental illnesses. The research tool was an original questionnaire, which was conducted in the months from January to March 2019. The SPSS program was used for statistical calculations and all relationships are statistically significant when p≤0.05.

Results and conclusions: 66% feel stress due to a mental illness in their relative. Only 22.3% definitely denied this, and 9.7% were not sure of their feelings. The classification of the stress experienced was not statistically significantly different due to gender (p=0.27), age (p=0.76) and education of respondents (p=0.14).Every occurrence of an illness is usually a traumatic experience for most family members or carers. People close to them are confronted with a new, uncomfortable life situation, new challenges and responsibilities and therefore feel very confused, not knowing whether they can cope with such difficult challenges as care. The level of knowledge in families with mentally ill people about such diseases is low. This may be due to the reluctance of these people to delve into the subject on the basis of pushing the problem away. 



mental illness: family; stress;

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