Over eight million American women are diagnosed with major clinical depression every year. Due to the chronic and debilitating nature of this severe and persistent mental illness, it is generally necessary to provide them with care. Traditionally the caregiving of persons with serious mental illness has been taken up by family members, predominantly by women in the family. When married women themselves struggle with a major clinical depression, husbands often fulfill the role of caregiver. This qualitative, phenomenological research study explored the experiences and care needs of the husbands of clinically depressed wives. The primary question investigated was: What is the lived experience of a husband in his role as caregiver of a wife with major clinical depression? Using a purposive, criterion-based sample, 10 husbands of wives who had been diagnosed with a major clinical depression were interviewed with the composite description culled using a hermeneutic phenomenological approach to data analysis. The composite descriptions included I am Helpless and Ill Equipped, It's all about Making Allowances, It was Frightening, The Sex is Gone, It's my Duty to Support my Wife, and served to illuminate the care needs of a husband as he cares for his clinically depressed wife. Data gleaned from this research will also alert mental and physical health care practitioners to the presence of gender differences in the caregiving role. Future research should explore the efficacy of the inclusion of couples therapy as a best practice when therapeutically treating the clinically depressed female client.
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-B 72/11, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Caregivers, Depression, Spouses|
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