Being a caregiver is its own gig. Moreover, most caregivers have their own gig, and a family, and friends, marriages, homes to take care of, and a worldwide pandemic to contend with. When you think of burnout you may think of images of being tired or cranky, but caregiver burnout has a whole host of symptoms and many of them are not emotional.
Physically caregivers can be tired, but they also can have pain, a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, and metabolic disease. Financially, many caregivers suffer from unemployment due to not being able to work their schedule around their loved ones. On top of that, they have financial instability due in part for specialized equipment and medications for their loved ones.
Then there is the social impact which we all can relate to right now. Feelings of isolation and loneliness are overwhelmingly common. Finally, you have the psychological impact. Depression and anxiety are on the top of the list, but they are followed by guilt. Guilt can take many forms. Guilt for not being able to take care of them like you want to. Guilt for missing out on being able to support and care for other loved ones in your life. Even guilt for feeling obligated to take care of someone but not wanting to do it anymore.
The good news? All of these symptoms and feelings are common, normal, and/or treatable. Your doctor can help create a plan to fit healthy living into your caregiving schedule. You can get emotional and mental health support from a counselor who can help you understand and manage your feelings. And there are local services that help provide caregiving and respite. Whatever you choose just know you don’t have to do this alone. From professional assistance to support groups, help is near.
The challenges individuals and families face which accompany modern life can be difficult for youth, adults, and those around them. Our mental health therapist will help you face these challenges and create a brighter future. Think you might be suffering from caregiver burnout? Lamplight Counseling Services, LLC is available for you when you need it.