“It’s very easy to deny your own needs. It’s very easy to put the other person’s needs first.”
Robin Dorman is a clinical health psychologist. Caregivers are often the first to sacrifice their health and emotional needs, and are usually very good at it. However, it’s not sustainable and can have serious long-term consequences. Whether you’re ignoring your nutrition, sleep or other self-care, it accumulates over time. “Anything from emotional pain to irritability…to disrupted sleep, to changes in appetite…to pain…to depressed feelings,” explains Robin. Caregivers often ignore these symptoms. It can “sometimes put a wedge between the relationship between you and the person you’re trying to be there for,” she explains. “The guilt is a very real thing and something that needs to be addressed head on.” If you’re a caregiver or care about someone who is, be sure to be mindful of your own health and needs, it’s not selfish, it’s necessary.
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