Symptoms of Caregiver Burnout

  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Altered eating patterns
  • Increased sugar consumption or use of alcohol or drugs
  • Increased smoking or strong desire to start again
  • Frequent headaches or sudden onset of back pain
  • Increased reliance on over-the-counted pain remedies or prescribed drugs
  • Irritability
  • High levels of fear or anxiety.
  • Impatience
  • The inability to handle one or more problems or crises
  • Overreacting to commonplace accidents
  • Overreacting to criticism
  • Overreacting with anger toward a spouse, child, or older care recipient
  • Alienation
  • Feeling emotional withdrawal
  • Feeling trapped
  • Thinking of disappearing or running away
  • Not being able to laugh or feel joy
  • Withdrawing form activities and the lives of others
  • Feeling hopeless most of the time.
  • Loss of compassion
  • Resenting the care recipient and/or the situation
  • Neglecting or mistreating the care recipient
  • Frequently feeling totally alone even though friends and family are present
  • Wishing simply “to have the whole thing over with”
  • Playing the “if only” games; saying over and over “If only this would happen.” or “If only this hadn’t happened.”