Guardian Carers Feature on BBC News London

Coping with feelings of guilt as a carer

One of the feelings stated before that almost all carers face is guilt. Again, feeling like this is only natural. You are only human!

As a carer you may feel like you should be doing more, that you are not doing enough and just feel overall guilty that you are not doing a good job. When you are a carer you may often find yourself in a vicious cycle of resentment of guilt.

You may feel like your life no longer belongs to you - that it’s only about the person you are caring for and you whole life revolves around your carer role. You will find yourself feeling guilty for the way that you’re feeling. Many carers who give up their life to caring for a loved one or allocate a sizeable amount of time to caring, will eventually feel like their life no longer belongs to themselves. If you’re a carer experiencing this, you may feel almost as if your life is slipping away. You spend all your free time caring for somebody else and you may find yourself losing touch with the people close to you: your friends and even your spouse or children, in the most extreme cases.

You are not alone. Many carers find it hard to maintain a social life and carry on with their hobbies and interests. But you may find yourself feeling guilty, that as a carer you allow yourself to think about you, when there’s a loved one in a very difficult situation requiring your care and help.

You may feel like your carer life is different from the life of your friends. You may find out that they do not understand the way that you are feeling, they do not know how to help you cope with your feelings as a carer. Some carers also have a fear of stigma. Stigma for the carer job that they are doing and stigma for the person they are caring for. This fear of having your life out in the open and uncovering your feelings to other people, may end up making you feel very lonely.

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