Care Giver’s Syndrome
This is the experience I am living and healing. I do not proclaim to be an expert, just someone who is learning and growing from a life lesson. I wanted to share the information that I have right now, because I think nearly everyone I know will eventually be doing some care giving or experience high levels of stress.
This syndrome is also called Adrenal Fatigue and Adrenal Burn- Out Syndrome – it can lead to even bigger problems, such as diabetes and Fibromyalgia and death.
When I was reviewing the book Female Brain Gone Insane, about woman’s hormones, page 164 begins a list about handling stress with a list of 50 signs of stress. The books states if you have more than 3 of these stressors happening get yourself a saliva test. I checked off 17 signs and I went to the book’s resources section and mail ordered a test.
I want to share the list with you:
1. Frequent headaches, jaw clenching, or pain
2. Gritting, Grinding teeth
3. Stuttering or stammering
4. Tremors, trebling of lips, hands
5. Neck ache, back pain, muscle spasms
6. Light headedness, faintness, dizziness
7. Ringing, buzzing or popping sounds
8. Frequent Blushing, sweating
9. Cold or sweaty hands, feet
10. Dry mouth, problems swallowing
11. Frequent colds, infections, herpes sores
12. Rashes, itching, hives, “goose bumps”
13. Unexplained or frequent “allergy” attacks
14. Heartburn, stomach pain, nausea
15. Excess belching, flatulence
16. Constipation, diarrhea
17. Difficulty breathing, sighing
18. Sudden attacks of panic
19. Chest pain, palpitations
20. Frequent urination
21. Poor sexual desire or performance
22. Excess anxiety, worry, guilt, nervousness
23. Increased anger, frustration, hostility
24. Depression, frequent or wild mood swings
25. Increased or decreased appétit
26. Insomnia, nightmares, disturbing dreams
27. Difficulty concentrating, racing thoughts
28. Trouble learning new information
29. Forgetfulness, disorganization, confusion
30. Difficulty making decisions
31. Feeling overloaded or overwhelmed
32. Frequent crying spells or suicidal thoughts
33. Feelings of loneliness or worthlessness
34. Little interest in appearance
35. Nervous habits, fidgeting, feet tapping
36. Increased frustration, irritability, edginess
37. Overreaction to petty annoyances
38. Increased number of minor accidents
39. Obsessive or compulsive behavior
40. Reduced work efficiency or productivity
41. Lies or excuses to cover up poor work
42. Rapid or mumbled speech
43. Excessive defensiveness or suspiciousness
44. Problems in communication, sharing
45. Social withdrawal and isolation
46. Constant tiredness, weakness, fatigue
47. Unexplained weight gain or loss
48. Increased smoking, alcohol or drug use
49. Frequent use of over-the-counter drugs
50. Excessive gambling or impulse buying
I do not think this is a whole list, just the most common ones. I would add kidney problems such as Kidney Stones as an early warning system, which is what I had every time I got too stressed and overwhelmed.
I did not know any of this as I was raising my children, working, and trying to do it all. I thought being that exhausted all the time was normal and I was sure that I was not alone. I wanted to prove I could handle it and was not sick, depressed or weak. I wanted to be a super woman and do it all with bells and ribbons attached.
If I had been honest with myself, I would have put aside some of my wants and focused more on what my body needed. I did give up my career and career goals along the way because my family needed me more.
I was the rock – now I am the sand.
My work involved teaching emotional wellness, stress management, and counseling/mediation skills. I so wanted to finish my PhD and be an expert in Ethics and Human Development. I mourned the loss and vacuumed the carpet and made the soup.
When I ignored what my body was telling me and did not persist in getting answers for myself and my needs my body kept making its needs known in a louder and louder voice – finally cancer – surgery and no hormones working any more.
My body shouted: “SO YOU WANT STRESS LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT STRESS!”
I am sure I have passed this syndrome on to my children, so I wish to share this with my readers: everyone needs to understand how the body works, how emotions work and how to read what your body is telling you.
We need to teach children about stress and depression and how these are protective and good things which when one learns to use them well are our advocates for living a healthy and strong life. These lessons are as important as any taught in school, whereas these are taught primarily by our actions not our words.
So are you taking good care of yourself? Are you strengthening your emotions and relieving your stress? Do you understand your hormones and your body’s language? Do you recognize when society is giving you wrong messages for your health and success?
Looking forward to your comments