Symptoms of Depression for Caregivers

By Maria M. Meyer and Paula Derr, Contributing Writers
Just as depression endangers your care receiver’s recovery, it also endangers your health and well-being. Depression increases your risk in every major disease category, particularly cardiovascular disease.
Here are the symptoms of depression:
  • persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood
  • feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  • feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
  • decreased energy, fatigue, being “slowed down”
  • difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • appetite and/or weight changes
  • thoughts of death or suicide, or suicidal attempts
  • restlessness, irritability
If you have five or more of these symptoms for longer than two weeks, depression may be the cause. Talk to a physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist about treatment options. The most effective treatment combines medication with talking therapy.
  • Claim time for yourself and make sure you use it; otherwise, you will burn out and the person in your care will suffer.
  • Make and keep doctor’s appointments for yourself; otherwise, when you get sick, everyone will suffer.
  • Join a caregiver support group; otherwise, you and the person in your care will suffer isolation.
  • Take advantage of respite care opportunities, otherwise, when you break down the person in your care will suffer.

Raleigh Geriatric Care Management and Magnolia Glen Retirement Living in Raleigh, NC offer a once a week Adult Children of Aging Parents Support Group.  contact Lauren Watral for more more information:  lwatral@rgcmgmt.com.  Visit the website:  www.rgcmgmt.com

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