Caregiver Syndrome: Another Form of Burnout

the Caregiver syndrome it occurs in people who act as the primary caregiver of a dependent person. It is characterized by both physical and mental exhaustion, with an image similar to that of stress at work or “burnout”.

What is caregiver syndrome?

This is stated by caregivers in charge of people who need constant help to present with some degree of neurological or psychiatric alteration or impairment, such as some type of dementia.

In most of the cases, the decision to become a caregiver is usually dictated by the circumstances, Without deliberate decision-making. Therefore, these people are suddenly faced with a new situation for which they are not prepared and which consumes most of their time and energy, to the point of becoming the center of their life.

Changes in the life of the caregiver

The caregiver’s life changes dramatically because of the demand required. Your new responsibility requals a profound transformation of their form and quality of lifeAs, in general, no one is ready to live around the clock with a person (usually a loved one) who is gradually deteriorating from day to day. This situation will most likely generate deep emotional and emotional reactions: sadness, tension, anger, guilt, frustration, bewilderment … from which those who perform these care-type functions so often suffer.

Some of the changes that are happening in your life in the short and long term:

  • family relations (New roles, obligations, conflicts arise, …)
  • Labor (Abandonment or absenteeism, increased expenses, …)
  • free time (Decrease in time spent on leisure, interpersonal relationships, …)
  • Health (Fatigue problems, sleep and appetite problems, …)
  • Mood swings (Feelings of sadness, irritability, guilt, worry, anxiety, stress …).

Causes of caregiver syndrome

The caregiver’s stress comes mainly from the different ways of perceiving the patient’s needs, the investment of time, resources, conflicts between his expectations and the rest of the family members, feelings of guilt …

On many occasions, conflict arises from the inability to meet the patient’s needs, Family and personal. It is very common for the caregiver to give up certain aspects of his social and professional life in view of the needs of the person in his charge.

Some signs of caregiver syndrome disorder

It is important that family members and friends of the primary caregiver be aware of a number of symptoms that may indicate the presence of the disorder:

  • increased irritability and “aggressive” behavior towards others
  • Tension against auxiliary caregivers (They are not taking good care of the patient)
  • Symptoms of depression or anxiety.
  • impatience with the person in charge.
  • Social isolation.
  • Physical issues: Headaches, anxiety, stomach problems, palpitations …

treatment recommendations

It is as important to be careful as to take care of ourselves; this will allow us to continue to provide aid in the best possible conditions, without burning ourselves out.

It is essential that:

  • Look for moments of relaxation. There is a relationship between inner tension and outer or bodily tension. When you are nervous / your body tenses up. It is common to notice a lump in the stomach, or a tightness in the chest, or a strained jaw or cervix, or a flushed face, etc.
  • Rest and sleep sufficient.
  • Organize your time better so that he can continue to do some of the activities and hobbies he has always loved (going to the movies, walking, going to the gym, knitting, …).
  • Learn how to ask for help and delegate functions. There is no way that without help you can do the amount of chores you did before caring for a family member, and in the same way.
  • Don’t feel guilty about laughing or having funIf you are happy, it will be easier for you to cope with the situation.
  • Take care of your physical appearanceThis will improve your psychological well-being.
  • Avoid self-medication.
  • Communicate and express your feelings to other parents.
  • Reach agreements. All members must cooperate in the care of the dependent family member.
  • be assertive. It is important to treat the dependent person and other loved ones in a friendly and communicative manner. In this way, misunderstandings will be avoided and everyone will be more willing to help.
  • Show empathy. Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes can help us understand their point of view and understand their behavior.
  • Manage emotions. You need to know how to control feelings like anger or frustration.
  • Work on cognitive stimulation of dependent people. To do this, you need to do reading exercises with them, talk about everyday facts so that they have a sense of reality, and remember old stories and memories that stimulate your memory.
  • Say “no” to excessive demands of the dependent.

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