Feeling Anger When Caring for a Stroke Survivor
It is easy to feel victimized in this situation; you are caught up in someone else's illness. The natural response is anger. Unfortunately, that is not a helpful response. Unleashing anger on the person in your care never helps.
On the other hand, it is not good for you to stuff those feelings. There are definite consequences to your health and well-being. Try these outlets:
- Caregiver support groups provide a place where you can vent feelings. Everyone there understands; no one will make you feel guilty. Members will often offer effective, real-world solutions. Scientific evidence indicates caregivers who participate in support groups are better able to deal with the situation.
- Make an appointment with a therapist or family counselor or clergyperson. If possible, make two appointments: one for you alone and one for you and your survivor.
- Keep a journal of your feelings.
- Remember, survivors who have lost control may try to regain it by controlling what they can, which may be their caregivers.
- Separate the person from the condition. The stroke, not the person in your care, is responsible for the difficulties and challenges that you both are facing. Don't blame the survivor for the situation you are in. Remember, stroke changes behavior and personality.
- Set and enforce limits on how many non-essential needs you will fill per hour, such as pouring water or changing channels. Non-emergency care does not have to be handled immediately.
Tip. Sometimes it is necessary to tell the survivor how you are feeling, but it is important not to accuse him personally. Saying "You make me feel angry" may worsen the situation. Instead say, "Just as I am trying to understand what you are going through, please try to understand what I am going through with you."