Caring for a Caregiver

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Being a caregiver is one the hardest most under recognized job there is.

My caretaker is my husband. He is the most dedicated, devoted, and loving person I know.

Though, his job taking care of me is one really tough job. I’m diagnosed with Type I Bipolar Disorder. I have episodes of mixed states, rapid cycling, mania, and depression.

I’m taking medication, and go to therapy regularly. All my appointments my husband attends with me. He is very supportive, and tries to help me as much as humanly possible.

As a caregiver, he gives of himself with all his might. As I mentioned, it isn’t an easy job. My moods can swing from hour-to-hour, day-to-day…well you get the point.

I often (unbeknownst) to me, lash out on him. I don’t mean to do it. Most of the time I’m not even aware I am. I assume the reason why is that he is the one who is the most close to me.

He supports me in so many ways. Besides attending my appointments, he asks me how I’m doing on a daily basis. When I’m depressed, he tries very hard to help me through the moment. When I’m manic he helps guide me into stability vs. feeding into my mania.

There is a million in one ways I could tell you how he supports me. I’m sure for the rest of the caretakers you have a million and one ways you support your partner, friend, or family member.

The thing that falls through the cracks is the care for the care takers!

We have to remember there not automatons, and are also feeling, caring, and feel pain too!

As I mentioned I have a tendency to take my moods out on my husband. I am sure that is the same for others too! We don’t intend on it, but it happens none the less.

We must show appreciation to our caregivers. We must express verbally how much their appreciated!

I can say I am most grateful for my husband for all he does, and continues to do for me on a daily basis. If not for him I wouldn’t have been diagnosed or would I be in as good mental health as I am today!

We need to stop for a moment to not just say “Thank You” to our caregivers but we must see that they are taking good care of themselves too. Even the little things like eating right, and taking time out for themselves to recognize they too are in need of caring for.

Here are a few tips for you wonderful caretakers:

Stresses of Caregiving:

  • Household disruption
  • Financial pressure
  • Changes in family dynamics
  • Added workloads

Signs of Caregiver Stress:

  • Anxiety, depression, irritability
  • Feeling tired and run down
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Overreacting to minor nuisances
  • New or worsening health problems
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Feeling increasingly resentful
  • Drinking, smoking, or eating more
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Cutting back on leisure activities

Signs of Caregiver Burnout:

  • You have much less energy than you once had
  • It seems like you catch every cold or flu that’s going around
  • You’re constantly exhausted, even after sleeping or taking a break
  • You neglect your own needs, either because you’re too busy or you don’t care anymore
  • Your life revolves around caregiving, but it gives you little satisfaction
  • You have trouble relaxing, even when help is available
  • You’re increasingly impatient and irritable with the person you’re caring for
  • You feel helpless and hopeless

Dealing With Caregiver Burnout our Stress:

  • Ask for help
  • Give yourself a break
  • Practice acceptance
  • Take care of your health
  • Join a support group
  • Find time for laughter

 

For more detailed information, please visit our CAREGIVER hub HERE.

bipolarme

bipolarme

Living with type 1 bipolar disorder, PTSD (due to childhood trauma), Rapid Cycling, and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Writing about my life experiences.

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