Signs of Caregiver DepressionThe Autism Site
Caring for a loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming, particularly if your family member has a stubborn streak or struggles with impulse control and emotional regulation. Even the most devoted caregiver can become burned out and depressed. Here are some warning signs that may mean it is time to get help.
Guilt or Self-Blame
Dealing with a loved one’s chronic illness brings up many complex emotions, but lingering feelings of guilt may mean that you need outside help. Struggling with self-worth or blaming yourself for things beyond your control are also warning signs.
Anxiety and Agitation
Do you find yourself getting angry or feeling unreasonably stressed over the tiniest things? If so, you may need to take a step back. Anxiety and irrational agitation often go hand-in-hand with depression.
Lingering Physical Illnesses
Anyone can get a bad cold or flu that lasts a while, but if you have vague yet persistent symptoms, your body may be trying to tell you something. Headaches and other forms of chronic pain are particularly linked to depression.
Lack of Focus
Do you find yourself running late constantly or missing important appointments? Do you have trouble paying attention to books or articles that would once have interested you? That can be a sign that you’re overwhelmed and too stressed.
It can be difficult to feel hopeful when caring for a relative with a condition of some sort, but healthy caregivers are still able to see the joy in life and have hope for their own futures. If you feel hopeless and worry that things will only get worse, it’s time to seek help.