Carol Musil, PhD, RN & Professor of Nursing, recently conducted one of the longest-running studies on grandmothers in various family situations. The results clearly showed that grandmothers who are raising their own grandchildren faced extra stress and were far more likely to have depression than grandmothers who weren’t primary caregivers for their grandkids. As stress and depression can have severe effects on the health over time, grandmothers who raise their grandkids would benefit immensely from seeking a mental health therapist and joining a Women’s group.
The study tracked the health and well being of 240 grandmothers over a 6 ½ year time frame to see how the responsibilities of caring for their grandchildren 16 years and younger affected them over time. The subjects were randomly selected throughout Ohio so that urban, rural and suburban lifestyles were all represented. And despite the findings of increased stress and depression, the researchers also found that the grandmothers were generally open to receiving various forms of help.
“They need support from others,” Musil was quoted as saying in Science Daily. “But the most important thing is to maintain and perhaps develop new cognitive and behavior skills and approaches for handling some very challenging family issues.”
This means that grandmothers raising their own grandchildren should consider seeking individual counseling sessions from a mental health therapist in addition to joining a Women’s group. Through their individual sessions, these women can learn the cognitive skills necessary to handle being a parent when they thought their parenting days were over. They will also be able to discuss different ways of dealing with anxiety and stress. In some cases, being prescribed medication may benefit them as well.
The benefits of group therapy are numerous, ranging from providing feelings of togetherness and support to giving people new ideas of ways to cope with their stress levels. Women’s groups in particular will really benefit these women, as they may meet other grandmothers who are facing the same struggles that they are. Group therapy has also been shown to have physical health benefits. Since stress and Depression can harm physical help, this kind of support is essential for any woman who finds herself raising her grandchildren alone.
Dr. Lawrence Tucker and his wife, Desiree, hold group therapy sessions, including women’s groups, jointly. A supportive environment is always offered. If you are a grandmother raising your grandchildren, or you feel that you may be raising them in the near future, please call 888-792-2178 and ask for a schedule of upcoming Women’s group sessions. We all struggle with various things in life not turning out the way we’d planned, and you deserve to feel supported and learn how to cope.