Signs of Stress as a Caregiver

Shelley Wenger

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It doesn’t matter if you have been thrown into caregiving, or you have had time to gradually become one. Either way, it can be very stressful and hard. Many caregivers still have to take care of their families and their loved ones. They may have their own house to care for, along with their parent’s home too. Many continue to work full-time on top of their caregiver duties.

Because of that, many caregivers suffer from extra stress. They often feel so overwhelmed that they put themselves last. This usually means that they don’t take care of themselves because there is simply not enough time in the day.

In order to take better care of yourself, you need to watch for signs of stress. Here are some more of the most common signs that you need to look for.

Insomnia and exhaustion.

Many caregivers suffer from insomnia and exhaustion. No matter how tired they are from their day, they simply can’t sleep at night. They often lie awake at night and worry about many things. Then, they get up as (if not more) tired than they were the day before. This can be a long cycle and can make it hard to function no matter what you are doing.

Uncontrolled Emotions.

The emotional effects of caregiving can be very complicated. Many caregivers end up yelling more than they ever thought they would. They lose their temper over the smallest things. Some even start to resent their parents because they have put them in this position. They may also become resentful of their relatives who aren’t helping out.

Depression.

Depression and withdrawal often occur with caregivers. Many feel tired all day long, no matter how much sleep they get. Others can’t fall asleep no matter how tired they feel. They often feel like, no matter how much time they devote to their loved ones, there isn’t enough time to get everything done.

Many caregivers stop spending time with those that they love, including their family and friends. They may feel guilty about it, but they just don’t know what else to do. They often stop doing things that they used to enjoy, like reading or watching movies. Many avoid parties and spending time with others because they would rather stay at home.

Anxiety.

Many caregivers feel a lot of anxiety. They spend a large amount of their day (and night) worrying about the ones that they are taking care of. They may worry about what is going to happen the following day. Many worry about their finances.

Unfortunately, many caregivers also feel like they aren’t doing well enough. They may see everything that they don’t get to on a daily basis. They may worry about their emotions, especially if they get frustrated with their loved ones.

Unhealthy habits.

Because of the stress (and lack of time), many caregivers end up with unhealthy habits. They often turn to comfort food and fast food because they don’t have the time to cook. Some can come to rely on drugs or alcohol when it is time for them to unwind and get some sleep.

Health Problems.

Many caregivers are so overwhelmed and exhausted that they get sick easily. They may have more colds than they ever had before, simply because their body doesn’t have the energy to fight them. They may lose or gain a lot of weight because of their eating habits and their new lifestyle. Long-term stress can really affect their health in many ways, causing heart problems and much more.

Though each caregiver is different, it is important to look for any signs of extra stress. Insomnia and exhaustion are not normal, no matter how much work you have to do. You may also notice that you don’t have any patience anymore and your emotions are out of control. You may yell and lose your temper over the smallest details. Not only that, but you may become angry at your loved ones because you are being forced to care for them. Many become resentful of those who aren’t helping you.

Depression and anxiety are also signs of stress that you need to watch out for. If you find yourself withdrawing from family and friends, you are going to need to get some help. If you don’t take care of yourself, you may find your health going downhill. You may gain or lose a lot of weight. You may find yourself catching colds regularly. Many feel like their heart is beating quickly all of the time due to your anxiety. If you notice that you are under a lot of extra stress, you need to do something about it today. If you don’t, your health could suffer, and so could your loved ones.

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Shelley is a small town farm mom of two boys. She is a veterinary technician, so she is proud to write about all kinds of animals and their care. She also loves to write about writing, running a business, working from home, and much more.

Glenville, PA
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