Caregiving is a natural instinct, but going beyond one’s limit in taking care of others, could trigger feelings of sadness, lonesomeness and unhappiness, this in turn causes depression and more specifically it is called “caregiver depression.”
Caregiver Depression can easily effect and destabilize you in taking care of your loved ones. It is pertinent to recognize the signs of this depression and the ways to avert it.
One significant symptom of caregiver depression is that of life-threatening stress. Anyone can experience a bad day and naturally feel awful about it. However, a person going through caregiver depression might go through five or more symptoms over a span of two weeks. Mood shifts inclusive of depressed moods every day, along with the awful feelings of being sad, tearful or wretched are some of the most significant symptoms. This leads the sufferer to also experience a lack of interest in all activities he or she might be performing throughout the day for his or her loved one.
Decreased or increased appetites on a daily basis, insomnia or an excessive desire to sleep are other symptoms the sufferer might go through. The affected person might feel restlessness or laziness, energy draining and physical fatigue, feeling worthless or guilty for no reason. Amongst many other shortcomings, these are some of the indications that can result in weight loss or weight gain in people whom are depressed.
Like with other types of depression, caregiver depression can be treated with the help of a mental health provider, such as a psychologist or simply your doctor. Remember that depression is not something that you can easily get rid of. Consistency in treatment is the most essential tool to help fight the gravity of your despair. It is important to get treatment during the early stages as it can cause emotional as well as physical problems, which consequently leave you unable to care for people you love. There are also medications that can help cure depression and it is important to consult your physician with options that might be available to you.
There are also preventative and cautionary steps to stay away from such a condition as caregiver depression. The first thing you need to understand is that you do not need to be the only one to take care of a loved one. Instead, involve others such as family members, friends, even neighbors or close and familiar co-workers before you start taking on the weight of performing this strict duty. You may also benefit from professional nurses and caretaking staff to lower your burden and keeping yourself indulged in other activities besides looking after someone. This is called respite care.
Respite care allows for caregivers to relieve you of your duty to your loved one in order to provide you with time for yourself. Do not forget other relationships in your life, because giving care and attention to someone in their tough time, leaves you with quite less for your own. But, try to manage other relationships as well, which will gradually make you strong and positive as you move forward with your caregiving duties. One of the best ways to do this is by simply doing writing exercises. Perhaps, you can purchase a journal to convey and emptying inner negativity. So, try to jot down your experiences and the things you feel bad about, this allows you to vent and provides an outlet for opportunities that are of good measure.
For example, it is normal that these exercises will force you to concentrate on yourself, so keep thoughts of positive energy on the surface level that can relax your mind and body – think of activities such as singing, dancing, exercising or carrying on with anything that you love to do.
Last but not the least; keep up the optimism. Caregiving is not just about giving; being the most or one of the most significant factors in your loved one’s life also rewards you. This is something to be proud of and will earn you respect amongst your family members, friends, community and health professionals.