A mother of two healthy children has been suffering from mental illness and speech disability since childhood. Her marriage was arranged with a first cousin who had some speech disability. Now, with the help of family, she has been able to get two healthy children. She is able to understand all of the instructions if given properly and is good at all chores. But, now, she is unable to lead a responsible and fully conscious life. She has now the responsibility of two kids which she has to perform alone, because the family has started living separately. Fights are very common; she cannot understand the complex instructions and demands of children. The family has been living in Calgary, Canada.
Mental illness causes serious problems for independent self being. Partial mental illness can be cured to a great extent and the life of the victim can be made easier. Reupert has summarized all of the major issues emerging in families suffering from form parental mental illness. The researcher studied a multitude of families with this problem and came to the conclusion that effective interventions and therapies in this regard help in reducing the problems of these families to a great extent (Reupert & Maybery, 2007). Dr. messmer has come up with a list of more than one dozen scenarios where mentally ill parents need interventions for better performance. However, he says that the key to successful operations lies in the finding out the basic problems and suggesting the most and immediate procedures for their cure. His list of intervenions is all follows:
“An assessment of parenting strengths, needs, and goals
Comprehensive case management
Pregnancy decision making and support
Crisis and respite care
Foster care support
Trauma and abuse counseling
Substance abuse treatment
Marital and family counseling
Housing and independent living assistance
Child development and parenting skills training
Assistance with school issues
Benefits and public entitlement counseling (Abraham & Stein, 2013)’
The study has been published in leading peer reviewed journal and has been cited by many in their papers, echoing that it has worked the best in practical social work activities. Other researches have also pointed out that interventions for these parents should be centered upon the ‘role’ and communication constructs of the Family Systems Theory.
The family has been suffering hard due to this partial mental illness. The husband tends to spend most of the time outstation due to his business duties and children are solely left to the mother. The telephonic and other means of conversation do not work for her at all, because she cannot comprehend speech on these devices and the husband also is impaired with speech disability. So, the elder daughter has taken the control of the family. But, she also has to attend the college and tuitions later on. She also cannot spend whole of the time, managing her family and mother. Due to this reason, the family has decided to avail services of a professional mental illness social worker (Dss.mo.gov, 2014).
The Family Systems theory says that Family is a social institution. All individuals belong to families and cannot be studied properly without this context. So, according to this theory, the persons in a family go through a complete life cycle and change their roles and positions with the passage of time and change in the systems. According to the theory, the mother plays a central role in the life of all family members.
External and Internal Family Boundaries:
There are internal and external family boundaries. The victim can very well understand the difference between the length and extent of relationship with the family members and these out of the family. However, there are cases when she is unable to judge how much to talk and what to talk to strangers when shopping(Dss.mo.gov, 2014). She does not have any external friends and cannot afford to have as well. She knows the internal family boundaries very well and has been respecting them since her childhood.
She is unable to perform her role properly in the family. Duties to the husband, to the house and to the children are not being performed as per the requirements. However, she has been struggling hard to perform all of the house hold chores with great responsibility. But, still when it comes to decision making and going beyond the routine life matters, she fails to understand the family needs and is unable to perform her role in a responsible way.
Her mental illness makes are impaired for solving complex problems. For instance, she is unable to advise her children about the demands of their college life and cannot be a friend to them so that they can enjoy their college life with full fervor. In this case, the children have to depend upon the cousins and friends(Dss.mo.gov, 2014). They often come with good solutions to their problems and can seldom find time for offering them a workable solution. This is the biggest reason of unrest in the family. They cannot share their daily experiences and cannot get the home dose of opinions, ideas and pieces of advice.
All families have set of rules to be obeyed. In most of the families, parents make these rules and all of them have to abide by them if they want a happy living the family. These include both the internal and external roles. The son of this family has gone completely out of the control of these rules. The sister has been trying to keep him intact with the family but, he cannot be controlled further because at instances he has threatened to beat her. If mother would have been there to control this attitude, he would have been a successful person at this time.
So, as a consequence, the mother has been just living a partially satisfied life while performing her roles marginally. She has been suffering from exclusion from out groups and has been suffering from taunts and inferiority complex triggered by the in groups. She has been living a life of no friends and no social activities at all. She is very little educated and cannot understand the educational needs of her children. She also has lost confidence in her choices and does not play active role in decision making because she cannot understand the complex needs of the famil(Dss.mo.gov, 2014)y. Children have been taking decisions on their own and the father is too much worried about them. In order to control his family, the father has to request services of a professional mental health social worker who has to apply specific interventions for the victim so that she can play the role of a responsible and considerate mother in a better way.
Interventions to be applied:
The first and foremost need of this victim is to learn how to develop focus for longer periods of time. The social worker would have to advise special focus building therapy for making her accustomed to focus on all of the major activities going around her. There are special games which can be taught to the family members which they can play to help her build focus.
She also needs training with problem solving. She has to go through clinical and family therapy for solving complex problems. The social worker has to spend time on daily basis with the victim and has to accompany her at all of the major places she visits for buying. Moreover, she has to train her to develop ways of breaking down complex problems into small portions and come up with a workable solution. On the other hand, the family needs to be trained in the way they should discuss problems with her and prevent her complete exclusion in this regard.
This is the most important intervention that whole of the family needs. The family has been very badly suffering from impatience due to mother’s sickness. The family expense due to sickness and breaking incident is at record high levels. So, the family needs training for preventing stress and depression at first hand and if unavoidable how to manage the depressive situations.
Abraham, K., & Stein, C. (2013). When Mom has a Mental Illness: Role Reversal and Psychosocial Adjustment Among Emerging Adults. J. Clin. Psychol., 69(6), 600-615. doi:10.1002/jclp.21950
Dss.mo.gov, M. (2014). §7ch1: Family Systems Theory | Missouri Child Welfare Manual. Dss.mo.gov. Retrieved 22 November 2014, from https://dss.mo.gov/cd/info/cwmanual/section7/ch1_33/sec7ch1.htm
Reupert, A., & Maybery, D. (2007). Families affected by parental mental illness: A multiperspective account of issues and interventions. American Journal Of Orthopsychiatry, 77(3), 362-369. doi:10.1037/0002-9418.104.22.1682