Caregiver stress is a problem for caregivers who extend their support to their patients who may be suffering from various chronic diseases.
It doesn’t matter whether the caregiver trained in nursing and medicine or untrained, they can still suffer from stress. The trained caregivers, or the nurses take the charge of looking after their patients in the best possible manner. The untrained caregivers or the family members of the patients, too put their best foot forward in providing their loved one with the best of care. Both the trained as well as the untrained caregivers look after their patients in all the possible ways and means. From feeding them to sponging them, from reading the newspaper for them to giving them tablets, from accompanying them to keep them entertained; these caregivers treat their patients like their kids. Sometimes, these caregivers become victims of caregiver stress and they start losing their physical, mental as well as emotional sanity. Caregiver stress can be exhibited by emotions such as rage, exhaustion, anger or guilt as a result of the burden of caring for the chronically ill dependent. This syndrome can be suffered by both trained and untrained caregivers and involves the following signs:
Social withdrawal from the people the caregivers love:
The caregivers get exhausted to the extent that they decide to cut themselves from their surroundings. They start living in solitude. They cut down on socializing with people. They don’t talk, they don’t react. This social withdrawal from people as well as activities that a caregiver once used to love is a clear sign or symptom of caregiver stress.
A mind full of anxiety and nervousness:
The caregivers often during their caregiving sessions lose themselves to bouts of anxiety as well as nervousness. This anxiety about the future makes them restless. The anxiety about preparing them for the coming day makes them nervous. They start worrying about the past way too much and thus lose to these emotions. As a result of pent up anxiety the caregivers may also start behaving in an irritable and impulsive way.
Disturbed sleep or changes in sleep cycle:
If being a caregiver, you end up feeling insomniac – there are chances that you are suffering from caregiver fatigue. Caregivers often lose their sleep. They experience several changes in regard to their sleep patterns. After being woken up by their care recipient, they may find it hard to get back to sleep and end up remaining awake for the next few hours. They either sleep too little or catch up on sleep time and sleep too much.
Caregiver Stress Increases a number of health issues:
There are a number of health issues that may be a sign of a caregiver fatigue. If a caregiver often goes through headaches, stomach aches or any other physical problems at frequent time periods – he is likely to suffer from caregiver fatigue. Caregiver fatigue also lowers down the resistance of a person to various kinds of illnesses. The person starts suffering from overwhelming fatigue. The food habits of a caregiver are changed. The caregiver may suddenly loose or gain weight.
Further, other signs of caregiver stress in a person include the emotional disturbances, frequent mood swings, difficulty in coping up with everyday things, lack of energy, etc.
If any of these symptoms resonate with what you have been experiencing, then you should take time out now, and figure out how you can overcome caregiver stress.
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