Emotional Impact of TBI on Caregivers by Charles Watson
Posted on June 10, 2020
TBI, concussions, and strokes are unfortunate events and can be very difficult to overcome not only because they affect the victim but everyone around them as well, especially their caregivers. Nevertheless, the patients receive their fair share of treatment and counseling, but the caregivers are neglected. This is because the caregivers are mostly related to the patient and are doing it voluntarily as compared to a paid nurse. Studies show that about 45 to 59 percent of caregivers face depression.
This doesn’t mean that they should give up caregiving or get a paid nurse. It means that the caregivers should not lose themselves in the process. It is only by the combined effort of the patient and caregiver that the rehabilitation process can be made smoother. Just like the TBI patients, the caregivers also go through a lot emotionally, and it is crucial that you are aware of them so that you can take corrective measures.
The condition of their loved one can often trigger phases of sadness and grief for the caregivers towards the patient and themselves. They have to adjust to everything that has happened and also assume their role of a caregiver on such short notice.
This is more of an involuntary sentiment. Doctors often advise that pitying the patient can cause them to lose self-confidence and delve into self-loathe, but it is difficult to abstain from it.
A TBI is not only an unexpected change for the patient but the caregiver as well. Where the patient has to cope up with the various symptoms and impacts of the incident, the caregiver has their fair share adjustments to make. Moreover, voluntary caregivers are not trained to take up their tasks. This makes it even more difficult to keep positive.
Fear & Anxiety
As strong as caregivers have to become for their loved ones, they internally fight their own battles. It is common for them to be overcome by the thought of losing their loved one or fearing the fact that the conditions could be long-term or, in worst cases, permanent.
When the uncalled duty of a caregiver is crammed into their lives, the caregivers have to give up on their leisure time and social activities. Many a time, they also do this willfully to avoid the pitiful responses from everyone. This leads to a feeling of loneliness and despair
The unavoidable stress, sleeping disorders, and the negativity can often get to the caregiver. It can be very cumbersome to bear the increased burden physically, emotionally, and sometimes financially. Couple that with the fact that they cannot blame the patient for it or hold them accountable. As a human, they will reach your breaking point. These are usually the times that strain relations during a TBI rehabilitation.
The neglect that a caregiver is subjected to can be very discouraging. The caregivers often hold themselves responsible and obliged to take care of the patient. Despite the fact that the caregiver has to go through an equal, if not more, turmoil as the patient, they have to act strong for their loved ones.