The Personal Price of Caring

Widows pay a heavy price for being their husband’s care giver.  The emotional exhaustion of burnout is often accompanied by a deterioration in physical and mental well-being.

Widows report feeling tired and run-down, finding it hard to get up in the morning.  This tiredness comes from tension – the widow is wound up tight , unable to relax or sleep well at night.

Bad dreams and nightmares may begin to disturb your rest and sleepless nights add to your distress.  To cope with these problems, the burned-out provider may turn to tranquilizers, drugs or alcohol.

Each of these solutions for stress has the potential for being abused.  Because of the body’s adjusting tolerance the widow who uses sleeping pills for insomnia finds that over time ever increasing amounts are needed to fall asleep.

Physical health is not the only price of caring – psychological health is also involved.  One phase of burnout is a sense of reduced personal accomplishment and a loss of self-esteem.  Widows may begin to feel bad about themselves, about the kind of people they have become and what they should have done or not done.

In the end, widows who are down on themselves often pull away from other people, becoming isolated and lonely.  A breakdown of self-esteem is a central characteristic of depression.  This mood disorder is often a reaction to the loss of a loved one.

Widows pay a high price to be care givers to their husbands. Problems such as these should be treated through counseling or therapy so please seek out this help.  Don’t worry about what others think because it’s not a sign of weakness to avail yourself of counseling.

I admire those that get help because they are motivated to change and they care about their family and friends.  You don’t have to accept a joyless life – take control of your journey  and plan your future.

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