6 Signs of Caregiver Burnout

192 Comments

The tasks of caring for an elderly loved one can add up quickly, leaving you exhausted and stressed out. Chances are, if you've been a caregiver for more than a few weeks you've experienced a certain degree of caregiver burnout.

Keep your eyes peeled for these six common signs of burnout. If you find yourself thinking or saying these things, you may want to seek help from your doctor and consider finding some respite care.

6 Signs of Caregiver Burnout

  1. I just don't feel like talking to or seeing anyone today—even my friends and family.
    If you discover that you consistently don't want to interact with people, especially close family and friends, it could be a sign that caring for your elderly loved one is becoming too draining.
  2. I used to really enjoy reading mystery novels, but for some reason, even a thrilling ‘Whodunit' doesn't seem to hold my interest anymore.
    If your favorite hobbies and pastimes aren't interesting to you anymore, it may indicate that you need a break from being a caregiver.
  3. Sometimes taking care of mom is too much—I feel like I want to end it all.
    Thoughts of suicide or hurting your elderly loved one are dangerous warning signs of extreme burnout and probable depression. You should immediately seek help from a mental health professional if you find yourself having violent thoughts.
  4. I've been eating weirdly lately.
    Abnormal eating patterns, whether it's eating too much or not enough might be an indication of extreme stress.
  5. I've been sleeping weirdly lately.
    If you can't seem to fall asleep at night, or have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, you may be feeling the effects of too much caregiving responsibility.
  6. It's been several weeks and I can't seem to shake this cold.
    Stress can wreak havoc with your immune system. Illnesses that last longer than they should are a sign of reduced immune system functioning that could be due to your caregiving duties.
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192 Comments

Yes, I have burn out. I have doing about ten jobs in one. Paperwork, household repairs, chauffeur service, cleaning.... and my to do list gets longer and longer. Other family members, who live in a dream land, will not help. No social life. My health is getting worse and I haven't even been to the doctor in over a year - the dentist in over three years. Every morning I wait for the other shoe to drop since I know that something new will pop up that I have to take care of. It's kind of like Chinese water torture.
I repeat myself. I think I caught it from my father who has started telling the same story every day. So watch out - you may start craving prunes and want to watch Lawrence Welk every Saturday night. This stuff is catching, I tell you.
I talk to myself too! I have better conversations with myself than anyone else - and I crack myself up everyday. Better to crack yourself up than to crack up (though that is a distinct possibility as well!)
Your helpful information is appreciated. It is nice to know that these feelings are normal.