The Tough Times: Caregiver Doubts

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Phyddy_reading.jpg"I work all the time, but still feel like I'm behind."

One of the chief concerns of caregivers is fatigue, both physical and emotional. Many caregivers complain of sleep deprivation. Because of the all-encompassing duties that caregivers must absorb, fatigue and self-doubt may set in. The more tired caregivers begin to feel, the more they may question their ability and self-confidence.

If this fluctuating sense of physical and emotional fatigue has happened with you, don't lose heart. This has been the experience of many caregivers. It's important to take care of yourself during these difficult times, even for small blocks of time.  

Which of the following thoughts of self-doubt can you most identify with?

• Why can't I keep up?
• Why can't I do everything that needs to be done?
• Why can't I get him/her to eat? To drink? To walk?
• Is there something wrong with me because I can't get him/her better?
• Why doesn't he/she talk with me?
• Why can't I control things?
• I'm working as hard as I can and he/she still feels bad.
• I don't have time for anything.
• I feel defeated and burned out.
• My loved one is so irritable with me, I just don't know how to handle it.
• My loved one doesn't want anyone else to care for him/her other than me. I'm getting worn out.
• My loved one won't follow my advice.
• I let picky things get to me.

In my next post, I'll discuss the emotions of caregiving.

If you're visiting M. D. Anderson and you have time, I invite you to join me for our weekly "Caregivers, I've Got Feelings, Too!" support group. It's held on Thursdays, noon-1 p.m., at Place ... of wellness, Main Building. Call 713-794-4700 to reserve a spot. Oh, and we serve lunch.

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