After a 6 year journey taking care of my parents, settling all of their paperwork, and selling their house, I feel like I have PTSD. Can that happen?
-Lori

Yes! Unfortunately, this goes undiagnosed for the vast majority of caregivers. I know I suffer from PTSD, although I haven’t been officially diagnosed. Many other caregivers I speak with have the same symptoms and feel the same way. It is completely understandable. It is important to work through your feelings and your emotions. If you are not seeing a counselor, please find one, preferably one that specializes in PTSD or grief. You have been under extreme amounts of stress, worry, and probably guilt and anger over the past 6 months. Making all the decisions for your parents places a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. Be kind to yourself and seek support and help to work through the let down that can happen after being thrown into a constant storm and then suddenly it is over.
-Karen

3 thoughts on “Could I have PTSD after caregiving?

  • Susan

    What about caring for a parent alone for years. At the expense of your own family , your finances, your own spirituality. Feelings of rage at the endless drain on your mind and body and emotions. Feeling guilty because all the love you had is frozen back in time. And you live one moment at a time giving all you have. But its never ever enough. The elderly parent has rights to refuse going into a memory care facility. But you the adult child have no rights anymore. None.

  • Michelle

    Susan, I feel every word you wrote. My mother passed just a few days before you wrote this, and while she was alive, I fought physical and emotional exhaustion every second of every day, and tried to just get through one breath at a time so I could keep moving forward.

  • Tanika Little

    I cared for my mom and dad with Alzheimer’s. I had two children ages 13 and 16. No one helped,visitors were scarce and I couldn’t keep up with the extreme changes in my life daily. It’s been 7 years since my mom passed and I suffer daily. I KNOW my children have PTSD as well. Especially my son that was involved in caregiving task after my daughter left at 18. He displays symptoms. We both have moved away to another state. We live 20 minutes away and barley see on another. We don’t have family here or close family back home. I feel like I am drowning in sorrrow and guilt EVERYDAY. I feel guilty for taking my children through such a horrible experience at young ages. I think if I knew what I know now, I could have cared for them better. The feeling of guilt, loneliness and insecurity are heavy. I am unable to move on in any way. I have become an introvert my son as well. We work and have mates. Not much social. I want to feel the sun again. It would be nice to get rid of the tightness in my stomach and chest. It would be nice to enjoy food again! I would love to stop reliving the bad memories and sorrow. It’s weighing me down and affecting my relationship with my fiancee and my son.

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