Caregiver Stress

What Exactly is Caregiver Stress?

Caregiver stress is the physical and emotional strain that results from providing continuous care for another person. When this stress is prolonged,
it can cause serious physical and mental health problems for those providing the care.

Caregiver stress may be the precursor to the more severe caregiver burnout, though many of the symptoms overlap.

Symptoms of Caregiver Stress

As family caregiver, it’s important to keep on eye out for any negative physical or emotional symptoms you experience, as these can lead to longterm damage.

Physical signs that you might be experiencing caregiver stress include:

  • Frequent headaches or body aches
  • Always feeling tired
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Rapid weight gain or weight loss
  • Abusing alcohol, recreational drugs, or prescription medications

Emotional signs of caregiver stress include:

  • Moodiness – easily angered or irritated
  • Persistent sadness or hopelessness
  • Lock of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Feelings of loneliness or isolation from other people

It’s known that the long-term effects of stress can be detrimental to health.

Long-term symptoms can include:

  • Serious mental health issues such as anxiety and depression
  • Weakened immune system
  • Digestive issues
  • Alcoholism or drug addiction
  • Increased risk for chronic diseases
  • Short-term memory loss and issues paying attention

If you or a loved one are exhibiting signs of caregiver stress, it’s important that your first talk to your doctor about ways to ease your symptoms. There are medications, holistic remedies, therapies and more that are designed to help.

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