The highs and lows of caregiver experience in youth bipolar disorder

Poster B11, Tuesday, October 9, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Essex Ballroom

Melissa Hasty1, Craig Macneil1, Kate Filia1, Aswin Ratheesh1, Michael Berk2, Susan Cotton1; 1Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, Melbourne, Australia, 2The Centre for Innovation in Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Treatment and Barwon Health, School of Medicine, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia

During the early stages of serious mental illness, carers often struggle to understand what has happened to their loved one and caregiving can have considerable psychological, emotional, and physical impacts. While caregiver burden in first episode psychosis has been well documented, there is little understanding of burden associated with caring for a young person who has recently experienced the onset of bipolar disorder. In this presentation an overview will be provided of the literature on caregiving in bipolar disorder and some of the early themes that emerge from a study involving caregivers of youth who are in the early stages of recovery following a first episode of mania will be presented. Factors that will be explored include carer burden, expressed emotion, health, wellbeing, and coping strategies. Better understanding of the subjective and objective experience of carers of youth bipolar disorder may assist in development of interventions aimed at reducing carer burden and promoting adaptive coping strategies and wellbeing. In addition to benefiting caregivers, this may also enhance outcomes for young people with bipolar disorder.

Topic Area: Mood Disorders

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