Carers of people with mental health conditions are at increased risk of experiencing mental health difficulties themselves. The stress, loneliness and ongoing focus on others can take its toll and it’s important that we reach out and seek help when we start feeling overwhelmed.
It can be difficult to work out if we are just going through a bit of a bad patch, or whether we are experiencing something more serious. As a general guide, if you have:
• Been experiencing a significant change in mood for more than a few weeks;
• This change in mood is impacting your behaviour; and
• Non of your normal ‘mood-boosting’ strategies are working
…It’s time to get help.
We recently launched POD – a free mobile app developed to monitor the mental health and wellbeing of our Carers. You can learn more about POD here.
Your POD scores are a really good guide and give you an objective measure in terms of your stress, anxiety and depression. If your POD scores have been elevated for more than a couple of weeks, go and talk to someone – usually, your GP is a great start. Not only can your GP help organize some counselling, but they might also be able to link you in with services, which offer respite, or some additional help around the house, which can reduce some of the pressure over the long term.
Remember – It’s OK not to be OK, but the longer we are NOT OK, the more at risk we become.