Depression in caregivers is quite common. Being a caregiver is a complex role with many responsibilities. It has a major impact on your roles in society and the way you live, sometimes in a radical ways. You may have had to give up your job, be suffering financial hardship, be experiencing social isolation, be having trouble coping with the diagnosis or be experiencing physical or psychological problems yourself. The time you had to relax and dedicate to yourself and your interests has diminished, or been lost.
No matter how much you love or think of the person you look after, it is not a wonder that you can feel low in mood at times.
Sometimes a low mood shifts into depression. How do you identify the symptoms of depression so that you can get help? This article looks at just that issue.
You can think of depression as an exaggeration or extension of low moods that we all experience. Depression affects different people in different ways, as the following signs and symptoms demonstrate
Depression and Emotions
Depression and Behavior
Depression and Physical symptoms and Changes
You may experience memory and speech problems
Getting Help for Yourself
You are not alone. Depression is a very common thing and many people will experience it at some time in their life. Most types of depression are treatable and it is important you ask for help. Do not put up with depression.
Your family doctor can offer counseling and antidepressant medication. There are a lot of very effective medications available. The doctor can monitor your progress and change the type of tablet if one type does not improve your symptoms and your mood. Your doctor can also refer you to local health and social care facilities to help you.
Importance to get caregiver support
It is important that you get as much help and support as possible. That can be long or short term support in the form of respite care, employing support caregivers, involving family or friends more, residential care for your loved one, or help to give you more time for yourself.
Local support groups are fantastic. They provide a special sort of support, friendship and information that comes from people sharing their experiences of caregiving to someone with Alzheimers disease. You are not alone. Contact your local Alzheimers support group.
Seek Help Urgently if
You are having suicidal thoughts or thinking of harming yourself or others it is very important that you see your family doctor as soon as possible. There is a lot he or she can do to help you get well again and back to enjoying life.