Harvard Mental Health Letter

Coping with the stress of caregiving

Caring for someone with a brain disorder can be especially hard.

Any serious illness is stressful — not just for the person with the illness but also for the loved ones and friends who care for that person. This may be especially true when the illness is a brain disorder.

The National Family Caregivers Association estimates that more than 50 million Americans are caregivers for an elderly, disabled, or chronically ill family member or friend. And while the term "caregiver" may conjure up images of a gentle soul who fluffs pillows and ladles out steaming bowls of chicken soup, the reality is far more demanding and stressful.

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