Signs that says that you have caregiver stress read
Dec 28 202014870 Views
A caregiver is a person who offers help to someone in need. The care recipient can be an ill partner, an aging parent, or a disabled kid. Most of the times, family members actively caring for an older family member do not identify themselves as a caregiver.
Being a caregiver, the first thing you need to do is to recognize yourself as a caregiver. Once that is established, you open doors to receive the support that you may need.
Caregiving is Rewarding but Stressful
Caregiving is rewarding. Being there to support loved ones is a core human value. But a shift in emotions is almost inevitable. Caregivers often feel frustrated, angry, exhausted, sad, or alone, and it is OK to feel so.
The emotional experiences associated with taking care of someone can strain even the most able person. The resulting feelings of anxiety, sadness, anger, isolation, exhaustion, and guilt associated with having these feelings can take an emotional and physical toll on you.
Risk Factors Leading to Caregiver Stress
Factors responsible for caregiver stress include the following:
- A higher number of hours spent in caregiving
- Lower coping skills
- Less formal education
- Living with the person you are taking care of
- Social isolation
- Financial difficulties
- Difficulty solving problems
- Less or no choice in being a caregiver
Symptoms of Caregiving Stress
If you are experiencing caregiver stress, you are vulnerable to changes in your health. You might be too focused on your loved one that you may not even realize that your own health and well-being are taking a hit. It is important to recognize the emotional as well as physical signs of caregiver stress. Watch out for the following signs:
- Decrease in concentration
- Feeling out of control
- Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Feeling sad
- Being argumentative
- Feeling isolated
- Feeling constantly worried
- Getting irritated easily
- Mood swings
- Experiencing frequent headaches
- Having pain in the body or other physical problems
- Abusing alcohol or drugs
- Feeling increasingly tired
- Getting extreme sleep
- Gaining or losing weight
Noticing physical stress is sometimes easier than seeing emotional stress. You may acknowledge how your partner or children are reacting to your behavior. If you are being too grumpy lately and driving them away, you may have caregiver stress.
Caregiving Stress Can Lead to Risks
Caregiver stress over longer duration can affect your health. You are likely to experience depression or anxiety being a caregiver. Due to stress, you might not get enough sleep, do physical activity, or eat a balanced diet. This can increase your risk of having medical problems.
How to help yourself
Talk to a healthcare professional that can diagnose your situation. More importantly, know that it is not selfish to focus on your own needs when you are a caregiver. If you do not take the initiative on your own health, chances are you become less useful to your care recipient.
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