It should come as no surprise, but being a caregiver isn’t an easy job. While you won’t have to worry about troublesome cubicle neighbors, you must care for an adult who can no longer fully do things independently—this task can be much more difficult.
While a job like this can be a rewarding experience, it still comes with its fair share of emotional strain if you’re not careful. It’s important to know what some of the more common mental health struggles are that caregivers typically have to deal with. That way, you can better prepare yourself in case these problems ever come up for you.
Unfortunately, the act of caring for someone who is old or sick will come with its fair share of stress. You’ll need to have a broad understanding of medical issues in order to assist them when something goes wrong properly. For example, knowing the different types of wound dressings and when to use them will be essential in case your client cuts or burns themselves. No matter what happens, though, it’s up to you to fix it.
Stress in these situations is normal. However, if you continue feeling stressed when these problems aren’t occurring, you might be dealing with an anxiety condition. This issue can worsen with time, so it’s best to acknowledge and deal with it right away.
While we’re sure you’re good at your job, the fact of the matter is that you won’t always make the right call. Fortunately, wrong decisions aren’t always catastrophic—but in this field, they can be. If you made a choice that led to your client experiencing a significant injury, you might blame yourself for their pain.
However, you have to accept that these things happen. Even though it might look like you’re to blame, there’s a good chance the incident would have occurred regardless. You need to learn how to avoid blaming yourself for everything while still taking responsibility for the things that you do have more control over.
One big thing that many caregivers have to deal with is the sense of feeling isolated. Caring for an elderly or sick person will take up your time. While that means you won’t be alone, keeping in touch with your family and friends can make it difficult.
This sense of isolation can lead to further feelings of abandonment and possibly even resentment toward your client. Take time for yourself every so often to avoid these thought patterns. Staying connected with other people in your life will help these feelings subside.
One common mental health issue caregivers deal with, above all others, is depression. These feelings of anxiety, guilt, and isolation can make a person wonder if they made the wrong career choice, leading to general sadness and depression.
If you ever feel yourself getting to this point, you should contact your doctor or search for a caregiver support group to talk to. Regardless of your choice, it’s important to know you’re not alone in this, and it’s possible to get through these experiences.