Caring for Yourself
Caregivers of persons with mental health conditions usually take care of the day-to-day needs of their loved one, monitoring the mental state, identifying the early signs of illness, relapse and deterioration, and helping their loved ones access services. They sometimes also help supervise treatment and provide emotional support to their loved one.
Caregivers may sometimes need to bear with the behavioral disturbances of the person with mental health condition and sometimes can be a target of their loved ones’ negative outbursts or behaviours. They may need to reduce their social and leisure activities, and sometimes have to take leave from their jobs.
In addition, they often have to meet the financial needs of their loved ones besides meeting the treatment costs. The continuous stress of caregiving may adversely affect the physical and mental health of the caregivers.
The caregivers may feel stressed, anxious and low and may burnout in the long run. Therefore it is crucial that caregivers engage in regular self care and seek help if they feel overwhelmed. Here are some tips to practise self care:
You may find these resources useful
- AIC – A Caregiver’s Guide to Avoid Burnout
- HPB – Looking after yourself
- TSAO Foundation – Self Care 101
- Homage – Coping with Caregiver stress
Source: Chadda R. K. (2014). Caring for the family caregivers of persons with mental illness. Indian journal of psychiatry, 56(3), 221–227.
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