Caring and stress

The demands of caring can sometimes feel relentless. Many carers experience physical, mental or emotional tension related to their caring role.

Some stress is normal, but when stress reaches significant levels it can affect your health and wellbeing.

The physical and emotional demands of caring

Carers are particularly vulnerable to stress because of the demands of caring.

The greater the physical and emotional demands of your caring role, the more likely you are to feel stress.

Lack of choice

Many carers feel they have little or no choice in taking on caring. You may sometimes feel trapped and resentful.

Conflict and frustration

Relationships can change under the pressures of illness and adversity. This may lead to increased levels of conflict and frustration in your family.

You may even be caring for someone with whom you have always had a difficult relationship with.

Lack of support

Many carers feel alone and unsupported. You may find it hard to access services and supports that meet the needs of you and your family. You may also wish that friends and family members would help out more.

Social isolation

Carers can become socially isolated because of their caring role. You may have to give up your job, or it might be harder to leave the house to visit friends and do the activities you enjoy.

Effects of stress

When you feel stressed your body reacts in the same way as it does to a threat. Your heartbeat, breathing rate and blood pressure all increase. The longer you feel stressed, the greater the impacts on your body.

This may eventually lead to stress related illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure, mental health problems, decreased immunity or chronic fatigue.

This means it is important to learn ways to manage stress in order to look after your health and wellbeing.

 

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Carers NSW acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land, Elders past and present and all Aboriginal people.