What are the signs of caregiver burnout?

Dr. Ramani Durvasula, PhD
Psychology Specialist

Some of the signs of caregiver burnout can mirror those of a psychiatric disorder, including sleeplessness, poor diet, poor concentration and irritability. Watch me discuss the red flag symptoms of caregiver burnout.

Dr. Linda Ercoli, PhD
Psychology Specialist

Caregiver burnout occurs when a person caring for a patient becomes very stressed and tired. Taking care of somebody is usually a 24/7 type of job. Caregiver burnout symptoms include insomnia, fatigue, anger or frustration. If you feel impatient or short-tempered in relating to your loved one, or if you have resentment about the job as a caregiver, you might need to take your break by yourself.

Caregiving involves many stressors: changes in the family dynamic, household disruption, financial pressure, and the sheer amount of work involved. The rewards of caregiving—if they come at all—are intangible and far off, and often there is no hope for a happy outcome.

Following are common warning signs of caregiver burnout:

  • You have much less energy than you used to
  • It seems like you catch every cold or flu that's going around
  • You're constantly exhausted, even after sleeping or taking a break
  • You neglect your own needs, either because you're too busy or you don't care anymore
  • Your life revolves around caregiving, but it gives you little satisfaction
  • You have trouble relaxing, even when help is available
  • You're increasingly impatient and irritable with the person you're caring for
  • You feel overwhelmed, helpless, and hopeless

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.