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A book titled Stress, Coping and Wellbeing of Women Spouses of the Mentally Ill authored by Dr. Sandhya Cherkil, Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Psychology at the Amrita School of Medicine was recently published by Lambert Academic Publishers.

The book is based on Dr. Sandhya’s doctoral work. “The results of my work and my findings will now be easily available to the scientific community,” Dr. Sandhya said.

Divided into five sections, the book is meant for students and research scholars investigating stress in caregiving.

Section I introduced key concepts of stress and coping styles.

“Though we all are familiar with the concept of stress, and the term features in everyday conversation, how much each of us can tolerate stress depends on a number of factors like personality, stage of life, events and gender. The perception of stress is largely determined by how well we can cope. Some people resort to denial of the problem as a coping strategy, which in the long run, results in more stress, while others try actively to solve the problem,” explained the author.

Section II of the book shed light on studies previously conducted.

“Huang et al (2008) studied the coping experiences of care takers living with a schizophrenic family member. Another study by Hagedoorn, Sanderman, Buunk and Wobbes (2004) concluded that female caregivers perceived more psychological distress than male caregivers,” she added.

Section III explained the research methodology adopted to conduct the author’s study. It discussed at length, about the inclusion/exclusion criteria followed, the tools used to assess the different study variables and the methods of statistical analysis employed.
Section IV dealt with the outcome of the study and Section V provided a detailed outcome discussion.

“The study results pointed to high levels of stress suffered by the women whose husbands were mentally sick and brought out their alarmingly low levels of wellbeing. We should pay attention to these results, and help those women cope.”

Dr. Sandhya underlined that the possible contribution of a woman to the family and society is immense.

Dr. Sandhya completed her post graduation and doctoral work in Psychology in the University of Calicut, after which she joined Amrita in 2009 as Senior Research Fellow. She is currently serving as Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Psychology.

October 9, 2012
School of Medicine, Kochi

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