Oct 31, 2011

Express anger

"I have the right:  To get angry, be depressed and express other difficult emotions occasionally." Jo Horne's - Caregiver's Bill of Rights.

Let's be honest:  Caregiving for someone with dementia is challenging; beyond the capacity for humans to always be understanding, patient, mellow.  We will get angry.  We will feel depressed, overwhelmed, under appreciated, over taxed, impatient.  And, that is okay.  It is more than okay; it is healthy.  Feelings are neither good nor bad; it is how we express them that makes the difference.  It is not only bad style, it is immature and nonproductive, to yell or use foul language at the care receiver.  Some disciplines advocate yelling into a pillow or some such technique -- scream therapy.  I am not sure that it is therapeutic.  Sometimes mad just brings on more mad.  But, we will be impatient and frustrated; and that is really okay --- as long as it is a minor percentage of the time.  If we are feeling negative feelings more than just a very minor percentage of the time, it is not good for our own mental health nor the health of those around us.  In that case, seek professional help.  But, for occasional mood upsets, let us just be gentle with ourselves.  This is an almost-impossible task; this caregiving.

Happy Halloween.  I hope yours is spooktacular -- full of only very good things.

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