The more severe the case of dementia, the more likely the caregiver will experience depression.
Most of us will put our loved one’s needs before our own. Then many will develop feelings of sadness, anger and loneliness.
Depression is a medical illness and as such has a wide variety of symptoms. Individuals with depression may experience some or all of these symptoms.
As a caregiver have you recently experienced any of the following?
- Feelings of sadness, unhappiness, guilt or worthlessness
- Feelings of agitation, irritability or frustration
- Disturbed sleep, insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities
- Difficulty focusing, thinking or concentrating
- Loss of energy and general fatigue
- Crying spells, for no apparent reason
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment such as headaches, digestive disorder and pain
- Thoughts of death and dying or suicide
If you recognize these symptoms in yourself, seek medical attention for treatment, which may include medications and counseling.
And, please take time away from your caregiving duties to relax and participate in activities that bring you joy.
It is only by taking care of yourself and preserving your own health that you will be able to provide care for your loved one.
For more on caregiving and depression go to the Mayo Clinic website, a trove of the latest thinking in health.
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