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Home > Features > Your Caregiving Journey > When Does Caregiving Traumatize?

When Does Caregiving Traumatize?

broken-heart.svg.medA few weeks ago, The New York Times published an article with the headline, “For Traumatized Caregivers, Therapy Helps.”

The article made me wonder if caregiving is a traumatic experience. So, last week, on our Hot Topics show, our panel of family caregivers discussed my question: Is caregiving a traumatic experience? You can listen to our show via the player, below.

During our show, Richard (@kreisler) spoke about a recent experience which felt traumatic. During his mom’s hospitalization, he could not get doctors to listen to him and his knowledge of what would help his mom. Jane (@jbones1961) talked about the trauma rearing its ugly head during those emotionally trying days, like a day that includes an appointment to assess Nicole for a heart/lung transplant. And, @ejourneys shared how traumatic the experience felt when caregiving began because it’s so isolating.

We continued our conversation last night during our chat on Twitter. We had a great conversation about what helplessness feels like, what the opposite of helplessness is, and how to keep a feeling of confidence and power during caregiving.

So, I’d love to know what you think. Does caregiving feel traumatic to you? If it does, when? How do you heal from the trauma? Please share your thoughts in our comments section, below.

Listen to internet radio with Denise Brown on Blog Talk Radio

About Denise Brown

Avatar of Denise
I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched CareGiving.com in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues.

3 comments

  1. Traumatic is a loaded word, but caring for another person (old or young) is definitely a major cause of stress in people’s lives.

    Thanks for drawing attention to such an important topic.

  2. Avatar of Pegi

    Daily. Beginning with the first day we were told Hubby need spinal cord surgery April 2012, right through to today. No matter how much I/we try to treat this as we did all the other ailments as our new normal; it still is there; every monute of every day. Don’t know how, or when it will heal. The most relief I get is here; sharing experiences with other Caregivers. It helps, but agreeing with ejourney’s; still isolated and alone.

  3. Avatar of Busybee

    I loved listening to you all on the radio. Sorry for it being so late. But I have a hard time getting on line at that time because I am taking care of my father-in-law. It seam that I don’t get a break. But Traumatize is a loaded word. But I have to agree I hit rock bottom more then once a month. I feel lost some times and no one is there to listen to me. I am glad I have found you all. That you all.

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