Caregiver Guilt: Tackling Anxiety and Self-Doubt

“There’s no such thing as a perfect caregiver… What can your non-perfect self do right, instead of focusing what your non-perfect self can do wrong’”

 Lynette Whiteman and Dr Julie Davelman discuss the guilt and shame that all caregivers carry. Even though these terms are used interchangeably, they mean two separate things, with guilt being an evaluation of behaviours whereas shame is an evaluation of yourself.

“Shame tends to decrease the likelihood of seeking help, because shame is that no one should find out.”

 Dr Davelman shares her tips for dealing with shame and guilt in the caregiving setting, and discusses the ways that these feelings can be counterproductive. A caregiver can feel both these things because they feel they are responsible for everything that happens to the patient. People turn guilt into shame which is bad because they can then form negative opinions of oneself. Shame takes away from the positive memories and positive actions that caregivers have, and does not do anything positive for the patient. Shame can be an isolating feeling, and can be hard to talk about, but Dr Davelman highlights the importance of asking for help when we feel shame and guilt. The action of doing so makes us better caregivers, because we have recognised a problem and asked for help with it.

 “Identify your resources and don’t be afraid to use them, you’re a better caregiver for being able to ask for help… nobody is expecting you to do it by yourself.”

 They discuss the importance of being able to take in compliments. A caregiver can turn deaf to compliments by others because of their negative perception. Accepting compliments and getting help from others as much as possible is an important aspect in one’s caregiving journey. Caregivers need to recognise that they are doing their best, and nobody is expecting them to be perfect, and that the absence of perfection does not mean they are not good caregivers.

To listen to to the full podcast click here:–a-common-yet-sad-combination

If you can identify with this story, please share it with others who care for someone and help them share too. The feeling of understanding, not being alone and access to support is what keeps caregivers going.  

Sharing your story helps understand yourself — feelings, passions, hopes. It lightens the load and offers relief from loneliness, anxiety, anger or guilt. Our experiences and hopes can benefit others – to know that the challenges are the same, learn new ways to cope and care… they aren’t alone but part of a team. 

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Source: Blog Talk Radio

This podcast has been curated by Caregiver Saathi. All Rights are Reserved with the original publisher and creators.

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