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Burn Out - Carers UK Forum

Burn Out

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
Hi, its 4 months now since my Mum passed away, my GP says that I am suffering from Burn Out, has anyone also experienced this? I feel useless - its the only way I can describe how I feel. I am still not sleeping well, I have no motivation to do anything, although because I am still a carer for someone else, I manage to get up and do my jobs for the day. I just don't know what to do any more. Any advice or personal experiences any of you may have to help would be really appreciated. I have been referred for Counselling, but I don't even feel like doing that.

Hello Rosemary

So sorry to hear how you are feeling, but it has only been 4 months since your Mum passed away and you are still coming to terms with that loss. Having looked after her for so long and always having been on 'high alert' it will take you time to adjust to your new situation.

I remember feeling the way you do now about 6 months after my Dad died - up till then I had been busy, busy arranging the funeral, sorting out his estate, supporting my Mum and hadn't actually had time to grieve for Dad. Then suddenly there was nothing more to do............ It took me time to realise that I then had the time to express the grief I'd had to suppress before and, in being able to do so, I was gradually able to pick myself up.

So be 'kind' to yourself - don't try to do everything at once. Make time to just sit and enjoy a quiet cup of tea (or coffee if that's your preference) and treat yourself to a lovely gooey cake - make every mouthful count, be aware of the taste and texture. Or perhaps have a really leisurely bath with lots of expensive bath oil, candles and soft music - use your senses to enjoy the feel of the warm water and listen to every note of the music. Maybe go for a long leisurely walk - nowhere special but look around as you walk and 'see' what's there.

And, even though you don't feel like it - do take up the offer of counselling - it can be really helpful to just talk and get all the negative feelings out. Counsellors won't preach or suggest ways to change, they just listen and help you to get your thoughts into perspective.
My Mum died in January this year and I was told exactly the same thing. The mind says you should be busy getting on with things but the energy levels are so low that you are able to do them. It took a long time to adjust bit now I go with how I'm feeling at the time. If I get a day when I feel too tiers to do anything then I sit and read, sleep or just do nothing. I don't think we, as carers, realise how much it takes to care for someone 24/7 you just do it. Then when it all stops it hits you like a ten ton truck. I still am feeling the side effects of burn out and I still can't cope with a busy week, which is stupid as it's nothing like it used to be!!!

I sympathise with you it's a horrible feeling after being so full on. The old cliche time will heal certainly applies here. I don't know how long it will last I guess it varies from one person to another. It's strange as I naively thought once the caring for Mum stopped we would then have a life of our own and so far that hasn't happened not completely anyway. I am still a carer for our son although it's not as full on as it was with Mum and her Alzheimer's .

We used to say in the summer when we feel better we'll go and do this or that now it's next year maybe we can do things.

Hope all works out well for you and just try and go with the flow easier said than done but eventually you will.
Sorry just read it through lots of typos!!!!
Hi Rosemary,
I'm afraid I am exactly the same as you, my mum died in June, Burn out, feeling useless.
Although I am not getting Counselling , good for you doing that. I still beat myself up,
"If only", I had got mum home from hospital, she would still be alive. that sort of thing. Most days
I don't want to waken up. I seem to be the opposite to you, I only want to talk to people
who knew mum. I still look after mums friend now, who I will not let down. They are old and
frail. I keep busy till early evening then, I find music helps me.
The people on this forum are the only ones with any inkling of what you are going through.
Anyway I'll not be a moaning "minnie" anymore.
If it's any consolation it's good to read that everyone feels the same so you are not going mad or losing the plot!!!! I seem to get a couple of good days where I can function reasonably well and feel full of energy then it all goes. Feel lethargic again didn't do much yesterday and probably won't do much today. Did go out earlier but had that horrible sensation of everything going on around you and you are not part of it all. Never mind it will pass I'm sure.

Keep your chin up. Maybe next year will be better.
Hi - It is such a comfort to read these posts and realise I am not alone in how I feel. Mum died in January and Dad two years ago after I cared for them both 24/7 since 1996. I manage to keep going most days but sometimes it is just so hard. I feel useless and also somehow guilty when I try to enjoy myself and I seem to have lost the knack of doing that! I know I would like to do something but I don't know what - getting anywhere is difficult as I live in an isolated house and can't really afford to run a car as I have only my pension and the bit of money they left. My sister and her husband(it's their house)will give me a lift if it is really necessary but are busy with their own lives.They hate talking about Mum and Dad so I have to repress a lot. I do know life will get better eventually but I feel such a mess at the moment both physically and spiritually and such a failure. I do wish all of you a much brighter future full of love and hugs, Solange
Hi Solange,
Hope it gets better for you. I am very similar to you. It hit close to home
when you said about rellies, not wanting to talk about mum and dad. My
family are exactly the same. I sometimes think it's like mum never existed and
I never cared for her. It was like that when she was alive, it's like we where invisible.
I think a lot of us feel that. I feel very distant to everything when I am out at shops.
I tell you I did job interviews today, they said to me what has been your best
achievement the usual old rubbish. as soon as they see carer they don't want to
know. I said I kept a person alive. if you had , of seen their faces.
I also have no car, and am reliant on people. It seems you do all the caring all your
life, and then your just left on your own to get by. It's not fair. It's hard as a carer
then even harder when your left with nothing and emptiness. Anyway I have waffled enough
Take care

Does anyone go through the feeling guilty and if only syndrome. My Mum died in January this year and even now I still feel exhausted and I get days when I keep going over in my mind as to whether I could have been a better daughter/carer. Mum had Alzheimer so it was very difficult with the mood changes and the aggression. But I still feel I should of had more patience with her and not got angry.

I really feel I should have done a better job of caring. Is this a normal reaction? Will the guilt and if only pass in time? Image
DITTO, some days my brain wont rest with if, if, if, if only. You are human
you get tired, don't feel guilty . you done the best you could, you where there for her.
I know how you feel. If only we could get a day back . or
have another conversation. I wish I'd said this , or that. I wish I hadn't been so tired, but we never really know whats going on in somebodys body with illness and disease.
try not to beat yourself up , It's like we are all in limbo.
I keep thinking mum will walk in the door. Feel like everything is going on normal around me
but I'm not nomal . if that makes sense. I hope time eases, and helps.
Take care