Original Publishing Date: 07-06-2019
Publisher: The NEWS Minute
Author: Geetika Mant
“While the conversation around mental health has come to include more psychiatric disorders like dementia, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and more common issues like anxiety and depression, the impact of caregiving on carers isn’t given enough attention.”
The article goes through the experiences of four caregivers of those with aggravated mental illness. It also includes conversations with mental health professionals about the importance of self care for caregivers.
Caregiver burden has immense impact on the caregivers mental, emotional and physical health.
“Caregiver burden is the strain borne by one who looks after the needs of someone who is chronically ill or disabled. This stress can take many forms – psychological, emotional, and financial to name a few.”
There are ways to reduce the burden on the primary caregiver such as reducing some of the patient’s dependence from the caregiver.
Feelings of helplessness and confusion faced by the caregiver are prevalent when the patient is not functional or refuses to co-operate. Although it is hard to stop the feelings completely, some ways to tackle the feelings are working closely with the doctors or mental health practitioners and gathering knowledge.
Social stigma is still a huge problem faced by caregivers, especially those who are caring for patients with mental health issues. Although most caregivers don’t face hostility, they often feel misunderstood due to the lack of understanding in their social circle.
The caregiver’s financial situation can add to their burden. Furthermore, it talks about the tax exemptions of government schemes caregivers can avail to relieve some of the financial burden.
It is essential for the caregiver to take care of their own health and wellbeing.
“It’s very simple – if I am low, I cannot bring anyone else up. You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
Some ways to do that is to ensure that the primary caregiver maintains a balance between caring for the patient and their own life. Some people have found therapy to be helpful while others turned to meditation and yoga.
Different things work for different people, but in the end the caregiver taking care of their own health will not only help them, but also help the patient in the long run.
To read the full article click here https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/burden-caregiving-indian-caregivers-battles-they-fight-every-day-103192