This post was originally written in March of 2014. It has been revised for today’s post.
Caregiver’s Depression is a huge problem for some caregivers and I will admit that it affects me from time to time.
I read a piece called “Caregiver Depression: A Silent Health Crisis” on the Alzheimer’s Reading Room a while back. In the article it said a conservative estimate was 20% of caregivers suffer from depression, but that 60% show the clinical signs. It went to state that most caregivers never fully recover.
Often times caregivers ignore and sacrifice their own physical and emotional needs because they are trying their hardest to take the best possible care of the person whom they are caring for. The emotional and physical toll that caregiving takes can strain even the most capable person. The result is feelings of anger, anxiety, sadness, isolation and exhaustion and then the feeling of extreme guilt for having these normal feelings.
The follow symptoms are related to depression.
- A change in eating habits.
- A change in sleep patterns.
- Feeling tired all the time.
- A loss of interest in people and/or activities that once made you happy.
- Becoming easily agitated or angry.
- Feeling that nothing you do is good enough.
- Thoughts of suicide.
- Ongoing physical symptoms: headache, digestive disorders and chronic pain.
Respite care relief, positive feedback from others, self pep-talks, and recreational activities are ways to try to avoid depression. Only a doctor can diagnosis depression.
Appreciate the good, laugh at the crazy and deal with the rest.
I love you momma!