Recent studies have shown that caregiving can have a psychological effect on caregivers. The difficulties that come with this job, and the decisions that you have to make while providing care for a loved one, can make the caregiver feel post-traumatic stress disorder. Many caregivers experience symptoms such as:
- Avoidance behaviors
- Disabling anxiety
- Intrusive thoughts
- And much more.
The Effects of Stress On Caregivers
These symptoms are attributed to all caregivers, but are more frequent in those who take care of dementia patients. When a person spends too much time with their patient, it starts to affect their sleep – and could create an eating disorder. These things happen when the brain is always on alert. People who are over-committed to caregiving put themselves second, skip meals, and, with time, their nutrition starts to be irregular. This deeply affects their health.
The particular group of caregivers that are most affected by this are those who care for their spouse. The emotional, mental, and physical toll that caregiving puts on these people is more obviously expressed. The demands of full-time caregiving are often beyond what the abilities of older caregivers can manage, and this can affect their well being. When a senior caregiver is no longer able to care for their spouse, it can make them feel alone and isolated. Resentfulness towards their loved one is something that needs to be addressed by professionals.
Among other things that can affect caregivers, stress is probably the worst. It doesn’t come alone but also leads to things such are anger, resentment, and sleep deprivation. In moments where caregivers start thinking that they’re not doing enough, guilt will surface. But in these moments, it is crucial for the caregiver to know just how much they have invested themselves. Then, it’s essential to look for professional help, because the damage you are receiving is greater than the support you provide.
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