Guardian Carers Feature on BBC News London


Throughout the process of caring for someone, a carer could start to feel some emotional and mental health impacts. Depending on the level of care, some carers could feel overwhelmed by all the duties they need to fulfil. For example, if the carer is caring for someone who may have a certain medical condition such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, this could have a bigger emotional impact on them in comparison to just being a companion for someone.

It is common for a carer to feel overlooked and may not have time to look after themselves as they always tend to put a lot of time and effort into helping the care recipient, and put their needs first, which other people may not understand. This could result in the person feeling isolated can affect their emotional wellbeing.

No matter how professional, experienced or trained a carer might be, it is always possible for them to have emotional impacts, such as:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Loneliness
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Anger
  • Frustration
  • Resentment

It is completely normal for carers to find it difficult to talk to someone about their effects or feelings about being a carer. They may be reluctant to share this with the person they care for as they do not want to add more difficulty to that person’s life. They may even find it challenging to share this with their family members as they may not understand what you are going through as carer. It is expected from other people to believe there is nothing for you to worry about, or you should not be focusing on your own needs.

As a carer, you may be in a situation where you had little choice about taking on this role or that you think you may be judged if you start talking about your feelings. However, it is important to understand that having these types of feelings and concerns is completely normal and natural for a carer. When going through situations such as this, a carer needs to be kind to themselves and keep thinking positively, this can help you cope better with your emotional feelings.

If you start to recognise signs of depression, anxiety or stress, then it would be recommended to speak to your local GP, health care or social care professional for more help and advice. If you are feeling down, it would also be a good idea to someone that is very close to you, for example a spouse or close friend. This is could be small, but effective way of letting your emotions and feelings out in the open, and not having bottled up inside you. If you keep your feelings locked inside, this can eventually make it worse, which could result to you being depressed.

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