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Depression And Guilt For Caregivers

Dec 7, 2007
Being a new caregiver is hard and can lead to depression if you let it. Not everyone who becomes a caregiver will experience depression and the negative feelings that often go with depression. Don't look at caregiving as something that if you do you will end up depressed and on medication. The depression begins to show up when you shut yourself off from what is familiar to you and solely concentrate on caregiving.

In an effort to provide the best possible care to your loved one, the caregiver often sacrifices their own emotional and physical needs, and by doing this even the strongest, most capable person can feel the strain. The feelings of anger, sadness, anxiety, isolation, exhaustion, and then the guilt that is often accompanied by these feeling is a heavy toll for anyone to take.

Depression and guilt often go hand-in-hand. When you get angry at the person you are caring for and begin to have negative feelings towards them, feelings of guilt occur, followed by feelings of depression for feeling that way. It is a cycle that continues until you seek help.

We all have negative feelings from time to time, but when these feelings become intense and leave a caregiver totally drained of energy, becoming angered at their loved one for no particular reason, and crying frequently, these may be warning signs of depression. You need to be concerned about depression if the sadness and crying are continuous and the negative feelings are unrelenting.

It is unfortunate that some still think of depression as a sign of weakness rather than what it is, a sign that something is out of balance. Ignoring the feelings you have will not make them go away, it is important that you seek out medical help.

Symptoms of Depression

Most people's experience with depression is different. Some people may be sad for months while others may have a more intense and sudden change in the way they look at things. The degree of symptoms and type of symptoms will vary from person to person.

If you experience any of the following for longer than 2 weeks you may want to go and talk to your doctor.

* Have your eating habits changed resulting in either a dramatic weight gain or weight loss.
* Have your sleep patterns changed - either sleeping too much or too little.
* Do you fee tired all the time, even after just waking up.
* Do you become easily angered or agitated?
* Do you have the feelings that nothing you do is good enough?
* Are you having thoughts suicide or death?
* Are you experiencing headaches, chronic pain, and digestive disorders that are not responding to treatments?

The above symptoms are warning signs of depression so it is important to talk to your doctor so you can get help. If you don't feel comfortable using the word depression, inform your doctor that you are 'feeling down' or 'feeling blue'. Your doctor will understand the message you are trying to get across and get you the help you need.
About the Author
For more information about a caregiver intercom system go to IntercomsOnline.com. Also read their article titled:Wireless Intercom for Elderly or Disabled.
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