International Journal of Mental Health & PsychiatryISSN: 2471-4372

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Lived-in Experience of Mothers with Mentally Retarded Children in Selected Schools, Bangalore: A Phenomenological Approach

A qualitative design was used to explore and describe the experiences of caring for a mentally retarded child at home as lived by their mothers in Bangalore. Phenomenological interviews were conducted with a purposefully selected sample of fifteen mothers parenting a child with MR who attended a Special School were interviewed. The lived experiences of mothers were analyzed thematically by using Colazzi’s analysis. Six major themes were found in the data. The subthemes identified were: Before: Denial and difficult to accept child condition, After: Acceptance about child condition, Present: Fear about future, Life change: Vague physical symptoms, Life change: Change in daily activities, Husband relation: Supportive, In-laws relation: Neglected support, Normal child relation: Accepted and supportive, Societal relation: Full of stigma and discrimination, Confined role in society: Avoiding societal circumstances, Financial difficulties: Increase expenses, Extra works: To manage financial difficulties, Reaction on expenses on my child: Negative and discouraging, Spiritual belief Change: Change in belief towards god, Spiritual relation: High intensified belief towards god, Alternative methods to satisfy spiritual distress. The present study attempted to explore the lived-in experience of mothers with mentally retarded children and found that various dimension of mothers were affected on caring the child.

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