Feeling Angry as a Family Caregiver? You Are Not Alone
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Being a caregiver means dealing with a kaleidoscope of emotions on any given day. Thankfully, we live in an age when it’s easier to speak openly about the gifts and hardships that come with this complicated and often challenging role. And yet, one of the topics I rarely encounter in conversations around caregiving is the issue of anger. That’s right, anger.

I imagine that for some, there is a certain element of shame connected to emotions or expressions of anger, especially when it comes to caring for a loved one. Just the term “caregiving” evokes images in my mind of ever-cheery, self-sacrificing angels who rarely complain, never tire and are happy to neglect their own needs in service to another. And yes, I’m being a little tongue-in-cheek here, because caregivers are human beings, first and foremost. And we come with a range of emotions.

Anger is a kind of protector, explains trauma-trained clinical psychotherapist Meghan Riordan Jarvis, author of End of the Hour: A Therapist’s Memoir. “It comes in and yells and makes a lot of noise in reaction to just how hard everything is, but also almost as a distraction. If I focus on how unfair it is that my loved one is sick, or that I never planned on becoming a nursemaid, it actually keeps me from having to sit too long in the helplessness of the situation.”

Read more in AARP.

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