Mary Alexander: Hi! I am Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care. Today I am talking about the toll that burying emotions can take on a family caregiver.
To better understand how family caregivers are coping, Home Instead Senior Care interviewed over a thousand family caregivers across North America. We learned that while most family caregivers experienced a wide range or emotions on their care giving journey. Many struggle with difficult emotions such as anger, resentment and frustration.
Instead of finding outlets for these feelings, some family caregivers hide or bury these difficult emotions. Our research found that family caregivers who hide or repress feelings are the ones most likely to experience deep negative emotions. They also are the ones most likely to see their health suffer as a result of their family care giving responsibilities.
In fact, caregivers who bury their emotions are over two times more likely to have experience depression than other caregivers.
We also found that family care givers who repress certain emotions feel more overwhelmed, frustrated, angry, alone, underappreciated, resentful, fearful, hopeless, guilty and anxious than caregivers who do not repress their feelings. Family caregivers who repress their feelings are most likely to feel guilt over wishing they could do more.
Loosing patience with their loved one, missing time with their families, moving their loved one from their home, complaining about the demands of family care giving.
, family caregivers who repress their feelings are most likely to feel anxiety over having difficulty watching loved ones decline.
Feeling as if they are not doing enough, feeling as if they have to be present all the time, feeling as if they are all alone, feeling the stress on their marriage, the good news is there are methods for coping with difficult emotions and reducing caregiver stress.