If You’re a Mesothelioma Caregiver, Here’s How You Can Take Care of Yourself

April 25, 2014

When you’re caring for someone diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s easy to focus all of your attention on the one you love without giving any consideration to yourself. However, if you don’t, you can’t give the level of care to your loved one that you want to provide. Here’s some advice on how you can spot the signs of trouble so that you can watch your own physical and emotional health.

During this journey, you will very likely go through periods where you experience a great deal of stress, anxiety, frustration and even depression during your role as a mesothelioma caregiver. It is critically important – not just for your well-being but also that of the person you’re caring for – that you spot the signs that you may be feeling burned out or overwhelmed.

Symptoms of Depression

It is not at all uncommon for a mesothelioma caregiver to experience feelings of despair and sadness. If these get to a certain point, however, they can interfere with even basic daily activities. If you spot any of these following signs, you should take extra care:

  • A reduction in energy
  • Constant pains you can’t explain that don’t improve when treated
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Difficulty getting to sleep
  • Oversleeping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Overeating

Symptoms of Anxiety

Feeling anxiety is, of course, a normal reaction to a stressful situation such as being a mesothelioma caregiver. However, if you experience too much you could suffer significant health issues. Get help if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Constant irritability or anger that you can’t explain
  • Worrying excessively
  • Increasing restlessness or excitability
  • Difficulty concentrating, solving problems or even making basic decisions

How to Deal with These Issues

Just because you may be going through some serious problems as a mesothelioma caregiver, that doesn’t mean you have to give up hope. There are several ways that you can cope with depression, anxiety and any other issues you may be experiencing.

  • Have someone help share the load – Whether you need to hire someone you or need to ask a family member or a friend for help, it’s critical that you realize you can’t shoulder that load alone.
  • Get support – There are a lot of people who are going through the exact same thing, so reach out to them to talk about your feelings. There are a number of online support networks, such as through the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), that can help connect you to help all over the world who are dealing with the same issues.
  • Make time for yourself – You’re being incredibly unselfish in your role as a mesothelioma caregiver, but you have to be a little selfish sometime to remain at your best. Take a break every once and a while and pursue an activity that you enjoy. Also, make sure you don’t neglect your other relationships.

At Baron and Budd, our mesothelioma lawyers may be able to help if your loved one developed the disease after being exposed to asbestos. Give us a call at (866) 538-0485 or contact us here to learn more about a possible mesothelioma lawsuit. Our mesothelioma law firm has been fighting for the rights of patients for more than 35 years, and we may be able to assist you as well.