Managing your mental health as a carer
It's a tough responsibility
Being the carer of someone with a serious illness, debilitating condition or addiction can be incredibly challenging. For some it can feel like a burden, often accompanied by a plethora of mixed emotions, both positive and negative. Strong negative emotions can include resentment, sadness, anger, grief or even guilt. At worst it can lead to burn-out, depression or even breakdown.
Typically a care-giver will put themselves last, with family, work and responsibilities taking priority over their own emotional needs and mental well-being. Some may be well aware that they are struggling mentally but ‘dig deep’ to keep all the plates spinning.
For some it can be very isolating – being seen as the one to lead, the one who makes decisions, gets things done, and the feeling of having to be that strong person all the time. Without coping strategies or personal resilience, it’s very easy to feel over-whelmed, anxious and stressed (whatever persona is outwardly portrayed). Many have experienced traumatic events resulting in vivid dreams, flashbacks, phobias or even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
A problem shared
Looking after your own mental wellbeing in order care for others in a manageable way is so important. If you are struggling, seeking help, talking about it and sharing the burden can not only be ‘freeing’, it can help you think more clearly, perhaps help come to terms with difficult emotions you’ve struggled to manage or even come up with different ways to do things.
If this is you and you'd like to have an informal chat, please get in touch.