Caring can involve a whole range of complex emotions and feelings. These can change and fluctuate over time.
Some people may feel resentful about how their life has changed, and at other times may experience feelings of guilt.
Am I the only one who feels this way?
Carers have told us many sources of guilt that may resonate with you:
- You may feel guilty because you are tired and feel unable to care as you would like to, expecting more from yourself than you are able to give.
- You may become frustrated with the person you are caring for and feel guilty for being short with them or losing your temper.
- You may feel guilty if you need help with your caring responsibilities – particularly if you decide to use a home carer or respite care – as you feel you should be able to cope with everything yourself
- You may feel that other areas of your life, such as work, school or your relationships, are suffering because of your caring duties – it is common to feel like you are not doing anything well.
- You may feel guilty that you have less time to spend with other people, including your children, and resent the lack of free time for yourself.
How to cope with feelings of guilt?
Guilt is a natural emotion when you are caring for someone and it’s important to recognise this and talk to someone about how you are feeling.
If you can, talk about it with the person you care for or if that’s not possible, talk to someone else who understands, our team are on hand if you don’t feel you can talk with family and friends.
If you don’t feel able to share these feelings with friends and family members, talking to other carers can help. They might be familiar with what you are going through and may be able to suggest solutions that have worked for them. We have a number of groups where you can meet other people who are in or have been in a similar situation.
You could also talk to your GP. They may be able to refer you to a counselling service, or another appropriate person to talk to.