Just Listen! Your Body is Speaking to You

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Today I met with the spouse of a man who has a degenerative movement disorder. The man's condition has become considerably worse over the past 8 to 10 months after being relatively stable for some time. There is no cure for this disorder and few medications that have any beneficial impact. I met with the spouse because the patient believed that there were signs of increasing frustration on the part of his wife.

As we talked very candidly about how things had been going and what toll this was taking on her, she denied feeling tired or frustrated or troubled except when her husband was obviously feeling frustrated by his diminished abilities. When asked about feelings of anger or fear, she denied these as well, but went on to report how her blood pressure seemed to rise significantly when her husband was upset. Interestingly, she did not seem to make the connection between her blood pressure and any emotional state that she was aware of.

What is illustrated here is the disconnect between what is being experienced internally and the person's subjective awareness of it. In some cases, certain feelings can be experienced as unacceptable to the extent that the person may not identify or wish to admit to having them. However, the body often betrays their wish to hide what they are feeling and in actuality probably does them a "favor" by sending an outward signal that may be detected by others. For the observant friend, family member, or doctor this may be the "red flag" that brings their attention to the suffering of the care giver and leads them to talk to that person about how the caregiving experience is affecting them. Other frequently seen "red flags" are changes in sleeping patterns (i.e. trouble falling asleep, restless / fitful sleep, etc.), changes in appetite, irritability, reduced immunity to colds or physical conditions, forgetfulness, and increased alcohol intake, to mention just a few.

If you are a caregiver and have noticed any of these in yourself you would do well to take stock of what you have been going through lately and focus some attention on the feelings that you have been experiencing. These are likely to be signals of a need to talk to family, friends, or trusted confidants, and to make some changes in the role you play as caregiver.


Re-Published with permission by OurAlzheimers.com

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19 Comments

Brokenhearted: the best use of 700 dollars one can imagine!
Sure. it is a pity that you have to spend so much money just to have a weekend off, but freedom has no price.
I hope you can have more of these weekends...
Love this article . The connection between mind & body is so important. I have ptsd , and for me listening to my body and how I react to stress is of utmost importance. I have learned many years ago how to disengage my body from my brain. It did serve me well , i thought, but now it is the major factor to peace.
I have learned that my body reacts in health matters directly through what is happening in my daily life. If i learn how to connect the two . A major part of my battle is achieved. Because then I can rationally use some of the tools I have learned to ground myself . This keeps my body & brain in a healthier state.
It is difficult work to listen to my body. It is a learned behavior to disconnect my thoughts, feelings & emotions from my body . It has had negative consequences . But with practice , patience & persistence , I believe I can reconnect my whole body to work as one, I know once that is done my life as a whole will run smoother.
Peace to you all.
Nameste
kim
Say to my relatives that I am tired and stressed and need help? Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha (LOL LOL LOL LOL). They will believe me just when I drop dead!!!! The kindest of them say: "Poor Rossella! We appreciate what you do. Try to get more sleep"-
I don't deny my stress. I know very well I am in danger. But there is nothing I can do and no help I can expect!