Am I stressed?

Stress evidently has an effect on our mood, behaviour and thoughts. We will encounter different challenges while taking care of our ill family member; when we think that we lack the required resources or capacities to face these challenges, it could lead to stress and some negative emotions. It can lead to certain undesirable behaviours, such as detachment, criticism or overprotectiveness of the patient. 

The stress of a caregiver can concern numerous aspects, such as financial pressure, and the stress of taking care of the family and the patient. If the patient happens to be the breadwinner before the onset of disorder, it is very common for them to be forced to leave their position due to psychosis, which may consequently bring on financial pressure to the family. Therefore, some families may let other members go to work or take on a few more part-time jobs in order to support the family. If the patient happens to be the one who looks after the family prior to the onset of psychosis, the disorder may affect their moods, and prevent them from taking care of other family members or complete housework, which may results in the disruption of the familial structure and cause other members of the family to feel the stress. Due to the symptoms of psychosis, the patient may struggle with tasks that they used to be able to do; their self-care ability may also be affected. Some of the patients may have more severe negative symptoms, which cause them to lose interest in things, be unconcerned about surroundings, or even disregard personal hygiene and cleanliness, making it more stressful for the caregivers.  Other than that, stress can stem from concerns regarding the patient’s recovery and potential uncertainty of future. We need to relax ourselves and be composed while communicating with the patient in order to understand the needs of the patient. The concern of future uncertainty can usually be helped by focusing more on the here and now issue.

When we are stressed, there will be both mental and physical signs, such as:

Physical Symptoms

Headache, trembling, back/neck pain, tensed muscles, dizziness, cold hands and feet, sweating, dry mouth, stomach ache, diarrhea or constipation, insomnia, chest pain, increased heart rate, tiredness, increased or decreased appetite etc. 


Psychological Symptoms

Anxiety, worrying, guilt, irritability, becoming easily angered or frustrated, hostility, depression, feeling like they are going to collapse from the burden, crying frequently, feelings of loneliness or worthlessness, restlessness and hopeless etc.

Cognitive Symptoms

Difficulty concentrating, nightmares, difficulty learning new things, forgetfulness, indecisiveness, unwillingness to interact with other people etc. 

If our bodies have been showing warning signs, we have to take good care of ourselves so that we can be prepared ourselves both physically and mentally for more challenges.

If you would like to learn more about relaxing yourself, please click here.

If you would like to seek help, please click here.