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Being able to cope with the strains
and stresses of being a Caregiver is part of the art of
Caregiving. In order to remain healthy so that we can
continue to be Caregivers, we must be able to see our
own limitations and learn to care for ourselves as well
It is important for all of us to make the effort to
recognize the signs of burnout, In order to do this we
must be honest and willing to hear feedback from those
around us. This is especially important for those caring
for family or friends. Too often Caregivers who are not
closely associated with the healthcare profession get
overlooked and lost in the commotion of medical
emergencies and procedures. Otherwise close friends
begin to grow distant, and eventually the Caregiver is
alone without a support structure. We must allow those
who do care for us, who are interested enough to say
something, to tell us about our behavior, a noticed
decrease in energy or mood changes.
Burnout isn't like a cold. You don't always notice it
when you are in its clutches. Very much like Post
Traumatic Stress Syndrome, the symptoms of burnout can
begin surfacing months after a traumatic episode. The
following are symptoms we might notice in ourselves, or
others might say they see in us. Think about what is
being said, and consider the possibility of burnout.
Feelings of depression.
A sense of ongoing and constant fatigue.
Decreasing interest in work.
Decrease in work production.
Withdrawal from social contacts.
Increase in use of stimulants and alcohol.
Increasing fear of death.
Change in eating patterns.
Feelings of helplessness.