Carer Distress

"Carer" sounds so much better than caregiver or parent. Especially when a child is ill.

And "distress," so much less blaming, more sympathetic.

"Carer Distress" just sounds, at least to my American ear, kinder.

Understanding how parents cope with living with someone with anorexia nervosa: Modelling the factors that are associated with carer distress.

CONCLUSION:: Interventions aimed at improving outcome in AN may need to focus on reducing caregiving strains and carers' distress, particularly of mothers.

Ya think?


  1. This rings a huge bell. Five years later and I'm still having meltdowns. I blame it on the "traditional approach" to treating my daughter. The subtle blames, the exclusion, the separation, etc. etc. My daughter still won't talk about it with me. Still believes that we wouldn't allow her to "grow up", not that we were doing our best to help her and make sure that she actually "made it" and survived TO grow up. I think I'm depressed and I think it didn't have to be this way. I'm trying to dig out.

  2. I have one additional comment (that's me above too). Wouldn't it make for an interesting study to do the above research but divide parents/carers by "types" of treatment their children received? Maudsley Method vs. Traditional Tx approach. My hunch is that carers would fare better and depression/anxiety symptoms be less pronounced when carers are truly treated as "a part of the solution" and given an important role in getting their ill child well again. My hunch is that a good portion of the depression comes from being blamed and sidelined. That whole ineffective feeling. Of course, a good deal comes from just the experience of anorexia itself, but what better antidote than to put families in a position of power to vanquish the villian than to MAKE them the villian?

  3. Anon,

    I so agree on parsing the data according to treatment type! I'd also like them to stop using the phrase 5-7 year average recovery and break that down into modes of treatment, too.

    On the aftereffects, I confess that I still have aftereffects. I think all parents of gravely ill children suffer horribly and for a long time. But I doubt it is anything near as bad as it is for parents who were marginalized during treatment.

  4. Fame at last! I'm one of the subjects of this study. I'm very thankful for the team at the London Hospitals who do this research and would like to put in a plug for more of it to be done.

    It would indeed be interesting if they could break down the subject by treatment type although as the treatments my child (and many other sufferers here in the UK) have received over the years have changed over the course of her illness it wouldn't be that simple, and as I feel a great sense of failure about our "Maudsley" times (which will have contributed to my high anxiety scores although I still have low depression scores) perhaps I could just act as some sort of control?

  5. I still have a lot of anxiety and intrusive thoughts about my d's anorexia. And the negative associations with psychotherapy during her treatment make me very reluctant to seek "professional" help for myself.


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