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The impact of being a Carer

Becoming a carer for someone with a physical or mental health problem often evolves over time with limited opportunity to think about the impact on the person doing the caring. Caring for someone with additional needs should ideally be a shared experience that is done by a network of people, so that good support can be provided without a single person becoming exhausted. Unfortunately increasingly busy lives and greater disconnection in family and social groups tends to leave caring responsibilities in the hands of fewer people, adding to the risk of burnout for those individuals. Research has shown that one third to one half of carers experience psychological problems compared to the general population (Shah et al. 2010). In addition to the toll on carer's mental health, there can be wide ranging effects on the carer's physical health, finances, relationships and general well-being. You are most likely to find yourself caring for someone who is close to you and the dynamic of that relationship can bring up mixed feelings about seeking support. Seeing a psychologist provides carers with a private, impartial forum for them to reflect on the impact that the caring relationship has on them and to learn ways to improve their coping and general well-being.   

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