8.5. Burnout vs Depression: What is Caregiver Depression?

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“I feel completely flattened, it must be depression.”

   Depression can be defined as:

““One of the types of mood disorders, consisting of a decrease in mood, with a variable degree of loss of interest or difficulty in experiencing pleasure in habitual activities and accompanied by various psychological symptoms (sadness, alterations in concentration, memory, etc.) and physical symptoms (decreased libido, anorexia, etc.)”

Caregiving does not cause depression nor will all caregivers experience the negative feelings that accompany depression.

However, in their effort to provide the best possible care for a family member or friend, caregivers often sacrifice their own emotional as well as physical needs; and the emotional and physical experiences they go through in providing care can harm even the most resilient caregivers.

The resulting feelings of anger, anxiety, sadness, isolation and exhaustion, and the guilt of feeling these feelings, can be a heavy burden.
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Burnout, Depression and Social Exclusion of the Caregiver:
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