Shocking 6 Signs Of Caregiver Burnout

Signs of caregiver burnout are endless. Here, we focus on the 6 signs of caregiver burnout. These 6 signs of caregiver burnout have a common occurrence.  As a caregiver, you must have been experiencing these.

1. Caregiver

You are a caregiver if you are providing mental or physical care or both to:

  • People with a physical injury who have lost independence
  • People with mental health issues
  • People with chronic illnesses
  • People with physical disabilities
  • People with life-threatening diseases
  • Old people require 24*7 support for necessary life activities

Your care recipient can be someone outside your family. Old people do not only need care. Any person of any age can need care. There are professional caregivers as well as non-professional ones like your friend, family members, or neighbors.

2. What is caregiver burnout?

You must have a job or household chores. When you are acting as a caregiver, your responsibilities get added up. You hardly have time for yourself. It doesn’t help the case if you are a professional caregiver. The feeling of mental and physical exhaustion is common. You are torn between the need of taking a break and wanting to do more as a caregiver.

Feeling burnout never makes you a bad caregiver. Society has always considered caregiving as a holy concept. While doing so, it has dehumanized the feelings of caregivers. You have your own responsibilities. You are also a caregiver. Performing your roles and giving your best as a caregiver is overwhelming.

dominik lange VUOiQW4OeLI unsplash scaled
Photo by Dominik Lange on Unsplash

3. 6 signs of caregiver burnout

Let’s shed light on the 6 signs of caregiver burnout.

3.1. You Have No Social Life

Your life has become limited. It is piled up with caregiving responsibilities. You hardly have time to meet with your friends and relatives. This causes zero social life. Almost every caregiver ends up experiencing this as one of the 6 signs of caregiver burnout. Even if you get any free time, you spend it worrying over trivial matters.

Besides, caregivers are reluctant to socialize. They think they should not have the pleasure of social life when their loved ones are at home waiting for them. If you think so, you are indeed wrong. Striking a balance between social life and important duties will make you happy. We know that all work and no play make Jack a dull boy. So, you will also perform best if you enjoy some free time.

3.2. You Have Become Irritated and Cranky

ashima pargal sHPBpUaPaEI unsplash scaled
Photo by Ashima Pargal on Unsplash

You feel irritation all the time. You have also lost interest in your hobbies. You don’t even watch your favorite shows. This is related to feeling hopeless and depressed. Respite care can be a good option for you. Caregivers tend to get overwhelmed. They feel it’s the ultimate need to over-sacrifice. But, it spells a negative cast on life quality. You end up getting irritated.

3.3. You Feel Emotional and Vulnerable

m T9THJMIIMPM unsplash scaled
Photo by M. on Unsplash

Taking care of someone with chronic illnesses1 is a heavy responsibility. It is rewarding when the health of your care recipient improves. But, it’s normal to worry thinking about the health issues of your care recipient. You experience changes in emotional health. Caring for your loved ones exposes you to both responsibilities and emotional changes. Besides, you may miss out on your lunch or dinner. You may have been sacrificing sleep. This makes you fall asleep during daily activities. You should not hesitate to seek help from your family and friends.

3.4. You are Developing Negative Health Habits

obaid awan yKKZosc2HPE unsplash scaled
Photo by Obaid Awan on Unsplash

An individual when stressed can develop negative habits. Yes, it’s true you should not be using stress 2as an excuse. But, heavy responsibilities can make you skip meals. Sleep pattern also gets affected. But, it’s not always limited to skipping meals and losing sleep. Caregivers can also get addicted to drugs and smoking. This is the most damaging out of the 6 signs of caregiver burnout. Therefore, it’s better to seek help as early as possible.

3.5. Poor Impact on the Immune System

brooke lark jUPOXXRNdcA unsplash scaled
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

This may surprise you out of the 6 signs of caregiver burnout. As mentioned earlier, you may lose sleep and meals. Besides, you tend to overthink when caring for your loved ones. You tend to overwork. You are juggling domestic work and the caregiver role. If you have children and office work, the pressure seems to reach the sky. This takes a toll on your health. This makes you more prone to fall ill. The immune system functions well when you are well-fed and well-rested. So, you should take out time for eating healthy and take a moment for yourself. A short alone time can do wonders for your mental health.

3.6. You Have Become Exhausted All the Time

ryan snaadt TsRnxEVecbs unsplash scaled
Photo by Ryan Snaadt on Unsplash

You hardly have time for yourself. Caregiving is a roller-coaster journey. When you are not caring, you are running errands. When you are not working, you are reeling under overthinking. When was the last time you went on a vacation? When was the last time you slept peacefully? We are not advising you to ditch your responsibility. You need to take a few moments of rest. You will function better both as a family member and a caregiver.

4. Conclusion

Normalize feelings of caregiver burnout. You need to have open interactions with family and friends. If you are a family caregiver, you need to delegate responsibilities among family members. You can join support groups for caregivers. Meeting with people going through similar experiences can give you mental strength.

Being a caregiver is difficult and time-consuming. Your mental and physical health can get negatively affected. Starting from feeling exhausted to forgetting how to socialize, being a caregiver is a bumpy ride. You should not let go of your responsibilities. But, don’t forget to take a break once in a while.

FAQ

1. What are the signs and symptoms of caregiver burnout?

Signs of caregiver burnout include chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, irritability, withdrawal from social activities, changes in sleep patterns, neglecting personal hygiene, and a decline in physical health.

2. How can caregiver burnout affect both the caregiver and the care recipient?

Caregiver burnout not only impacts the caregiver’s well-being but also affects the quality of care they provide. It can lead to reduced patience, emotional distance, and even compromised care for the person they are taking care of.

3. How can caregiver burnout be prevented?

Preventing caregiver burnout involves prioritizing self-care, seeking and accepting help, setting boundaries, maintaining a support network, and taking regular breaks. Respite care and professional assistance can also play a crucial role.

Read more

  1. Cohn, Liel N., et al. “Health outcomes of parents of children with chronic illness: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” The Journal of pediatrics 218 (2020): 166-177. ↩︎
  2. O’Connor, Daryl B., Julian F. Thayer, and Kavita Vedhara. “Stress and health: A review of psychobiological processes.” Annual review of psychology 72 (2021): 663-688. ↩︎

Last Updated on by Suchi

Author

Poushali Mondal
  1. It taught me important things about how caregivers can feel overwhelmed. The signs they talked about also made sense for students like me who sometimes feel stressed. The article reminds us all to take care of ourselves, especially when we’re dealing with a lot of things. I think everyone should read it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *