Caregiving can be frightening. You're face to face with your own mentality and aging, while watching someone you care for struggle.
By Ryan Rivera
From genetics to life events to upbringing, there's a reason that tens of millions of Americans suffer from some form of anxiety regularly – it's easy for something in your life to trigger anxiety, and once it does it can be difficult to cope.
|Subscribe to the Alzheimer's Reading Room|
Of all of the causes of anxiety I've seen in the past, one of the most common – and often most stressful – is caregiver anxiety. Caregiver anxiety is unique, in that there are multiple issues creating anxiety all at once:
- Fear – Caregiving can be frightening. You're face to face with your own mentality and aging, while watching someone you care for struggle in pain.
- Doubt – Caregiving for Alzheimer's is a demanding job that many people feel they are not capable of doing.
- Frustration – It can be difficult to care for Alzheimer's patients, no matter how much experience you may have.
- Self-Loathing – When you struggle to care for an Alzheimer's patient, it's not uncommon to find fault in yourself, even if your struggles are natural.
- Selflessness – Living for your own happiness is an important part of coping. But when you're a caregiver, you are, in many ways, living for someone else.
Coping With This Level of Anxiety
Caregiver anxiety is unique in that you cannot simply remove the situation from your life nor can you pop a pill and expect it to go away.
Most caregivers need to find a coping strategy that works for them, based on what they find to be relaxing. However, there are several qualities that most strategies have in common. These include:
- Accepting Personal Care
These are the three qualities that should be a part of how you decide to cope with your caregiver anxiety.
Traditional anxiety reduction strategies like therapy are still effective, but as a caregiver you need to also be willing to find methods of obtaining happiness and relaxation on your own.
Accept that your mental health and your contentment are both very important, stay active, and surround yourself when people you care about and you'll find a greater level of relief from your stress and anxiety.
Ryan Rivera is an author and speaker about issues relating to anxiety symptoms and treatments. He writes about anxiety at www.calmclinic.com.
More Insight and Advice from the Alzheimer's Reading Room
- How Alzheimer's Spreads Throughout the Brain
- Test Your Memory for Alzheimer's (5 Best Self Assessment Tests)
- What is Alzheimer's Disease?
- What is Dementia?
- What’s the Difference Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
- Communicating in Alzheimer's World
- How the Loss of Memory Works in Alzheimer’s Disease, and How Understanding This Could Help You
- Learning How to Communicate with Someone Suffering From Alzheimer's Disease
- Alzheimer's World -- Trying to Reconnect with Someone Suffering from Alzheimer's Disease
- Does the Combination of Aricept and Namenda Help Slow the Rate of Decline in Alzheimer's Patients
- Driving with Alzheimer's Can Mean Death
- About the Alzheimer's Reading Room
Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room