Background and objectives: Severe mental disorders require informal care, usually provided by family members of the affected. The aim of the study is to examine the burden of informal caregiving for individuals with schizophrenia and affective disorders prior to hospital admission in Bulgaria. Methods: The study has an observational, cross-sectional, retrospective design. Individuals with schizophrenia and affective disorders and their caregivers are evaluated upon the patients’ admission for inpatient treatment. The objective and subjective consequences of providing informal care are evaluated with the Burden Assessment Scale (BAS) as a primary outcome measure. Its factor structure and determinants of high burden of care are examined. Results: 117 individuals with mental disorder and 117 caregivers are evaluated, dichotomized in two groups according to the patient's diagnosis. The time spent in informal care is 5.7 hours per day (SD = 2.9) for schizophrenia and 3.9 hours per day (SD = 3.0) for affective disorders, p =.002. The mean score on the BAS is 44.7 (SD = 11.0) and 42.0 (SD = 12.8) respectively, p =.221. A common pattern of the burden with a 5-factor solution explaining 66% of the variance is presented, including the factors Limitations, Conflicts, Guilt, Trap, and Stigma. Contributors for the increase in the BAS are stigma (p <.001), history of threats (p =.014), supervision for disturbing behaviour (p <.048), younger age of the caregivers (p =.043), spouses/partners to the patients (p <.001), less social contacts (p =.017) and provision of informal care on a daily basis (p =.027). Conclusions: The caregivers of individuals with schizophrenia and affective disorders experience considerable objective and subjective burden.