We all know just how hard it can be to get wrapped up in caregiving that we sometimes forget that it is just as important to take care of ourselves, so that we can provide the best care and support possible.

So, here we take a look at some of the signs of Caregiver Burnout..


Fatigue may occur through a general lack of rest and sleep but caregivers can also suffer from Compassion Fatigue which occurs when caregivers are unable to separate themselves from their loved one’s condition for long enough to get the rest they need and recoup. Fatigue and exhaustion will make it almost impossible to carry our daily tasks in your usual way and this will become harder as the fatigue deepens.

Compassion Fatigue can lead to you feeling trapped, overwhelmed, anxious and depressed…all symptoms that we touch on later as symptoms of Caregiver Burnout.


Changes to your sleep are inevitable, especially with the increased worry, stress and perhaps anxiety but ensuring we get enough sleep, and well rested sleep, is crucial to our performance.

The times you sleep may also change, as your caregiving takes over and becomes necessary at different times of the day and night, especially if you are caring for a loved one at their home or in yours.


A not so uncommon symptom of caregiver burnout is weight gain or weight loss, which can be caused by stress and/or health conditions as well as a lack of time, energy and motivation, to cook healthy and nutritious meals. This in turn can lead to grabbing food on the go, turning to fast food or not eating at all.

A lack of food, or a balanced diet will not only have an impact on your weight but also contribute to a deterioration in health and your immune system over time.


Mood swings can be caused for many reasons, including a lack of sleep, exhaustion and fatigue.

Mood swings can come from denial about your loved one’s condition and the effect it is having but you may also display anger, at others or even the person you are caring for and a frustration at the deterioration or the lack of ability they now show.

Being irritable is another common symptom, also linked to lack of sleep and fatigue, that can trigger a negative response in yourself or from others and those you are caring for.


Depression is not uncommon amongst caregivers and long periods of depression, without any relief or support, will affect your ability to cope and function on a day-to-day basis. Depression will negatively impact your mental health in many ways which in turn can lead to a deterioration in your physical health, hygiene and even your ability to care for your loved one.


Anxiety can be caused by many factors, and may even be exacerbated when caregiving, by the overwhelm and concern for what lies ahead.

The changes outlined above, including a lack of sleep, fatigue, poor eating habits and depression can all contribute to a feeling of anxiety too.


Becoming socially withdrawn from friends, family and activities that you used to enjoy and make time for.

We all know that caregiving will take up all of our time, if we allow it, and so it is important to recognise when we are letting it take control and ensure we are allowing ourselves to enjoy social interaction and the activities we love.

Don’t put all of your hobbies on hold, the enjoyment we can get from these can mean so much.


A deterioration in your physical health may not be apparent straight away, and is often ignored as trivial, but symptoms could include; headaches, digestive issues, getting sick more often and having a weakened immune system.

Health conditions can begin to take a toll on your mental health and wellbeing too.


This is self-explanatory and doesn’t need much detail. This may not even be evident at the outset but it is important to be aware of what, or who, you are turning to as a coping mechanism or for a sense of relief.


This is in no way an exhaustive list but just some indicators. If you are struggling with any of the above, please seek help – it really isn’t a sign of weakness!

JUST A REMINDER: in an ideal world we would seek help prior to the signs of Burnout taking over and I appreciate that this is not always possible but seeking help, even support from friends, family or online, can be of immense help to relieve some of the pressure…you are not alone.