It’s important that parents take care of their own mental health while taking care of their child; parents stretched beyond their limits can find it increasingly difficult to cope with stressors, which can lead to burnout, anxiety and depression. Indeed, according to the ‘Caregivers of Children’ Report by caregiving.org, nearly one-third of caregivers of children considered the caregiving situation to be stressful. Mitigating such stress can be difficult, as often, children can have medically complex histories and require close monitoring and care.
Signs of Caregiver Stress and Burnout
Because caregiving is typically a long-term commitment, it is important to get physical and emotional support. Caregivers lacking a support network risk vulnerability to depression, anxiety and burnout. When this happens, both the person being cared for and the caregiver suffer. One of the ways to avoid or manage caregiver stress and burnout is being able to recognize the first signs that more support may be needed:
Common indicators of caregiver stress:
- Feeling tired or run-down
- Poor sleep quality or insomnia
- Disproportionate emotional reactions to smaller obstacles
- Deteriorating health
- Trouble focusing
- Increasing resentment over time
- Maladaptive coping mechanisms (excessive drinking, smoking or overeating)
- Neglecting responsibilities
- Cutting back on leisure activities
Common indicators of caregiver burnout:
- Decreased energy levels
- Exhaustion that doesn’t go away after sleep or a break
- Feeling of helplessness and hopelessness
- Increasing impatience or irritability with the care recipient
- Trouble relaxing even when downtime is possible
- Neglect of caregiver needs
- Weakened immune system (getting sick very often)
- Neglecting self-care needs
Dealing with Burnout
Burnout can prevent caregiving from being a healthy option for either caregiver or care recipient, so it is paramount that caregivers take action to prevent burnout when signs of stress become more prevalent. Because feelings of powerlessness are one of the major signs of burnout, caregivers should seek help when they feel that they cannot provide optimal caregiver help.
Read More about Caregiver Mental Health and Self-Care:
- Finding the Right Care Options for Your Child with Disabilities
- When the Caregivers Need Healing
- Finding Respite Care Providers: A Short Guide
- Self-Care Checklist for Caregivers
- A Guide to Family Caregiver Resources
- The Caregiver’s Library (reference site for caregiving resources)
- Health Notes: Care of Children and Adults with Developmental Disabilities
- The Family Caregiver Toolbox
Do you need someone to talk to?
Your child was just diagnosed with HIE and your head is spinning with what may feel like a thousand different things. Questions, medical terms, care plans; it can be difficult to make sense of everything that has happened.
As you start to do your research on exactly what your child’s diagnosis means, you may be bombarded with facts, information, and advice regarding HIE, and you may be lost as to where to turn next.
We want to hear your story. HIE Help Center is owned by ABC Law Centers (a birth injury law firm). The intake team at ABC Law Centers is here to listen to every detail of what you and your family may have gone through during labor and delivery. Although we are not doctors and cannot provide medical advice, our team can provide you with resources specifically tailored to your situation. Our team has reviewed and handled thousands of cases and is trained to recognize if there may have been medical malpractice that lead to your child’s diagnosis, and we can advise if taking legal action may be beneficial to you and your family.
Call us at (888) 329-0122 to speak with a member of our intake team.