“Grief is normal and mourning is very necessary. But if depression becomes ingrained and doesn't stop, that's when you need help.”
We all have our share of grief and loss in life. Our experience of grief, as a response to loss, may occur in different ways to someone else. And that's okay. Grief and loss may affect our thoughts, behaviours, beliefs, feelings, and relationships. Ultimately, it can affect our physical and mental health and wellbeing
Caring is a vital role that may demand specialised skills. Caregivers need support from others. They also need to make their own self-care a priority, to avoid becoming isolated and being negatively affected by the pressures of the role.
Caring for yourself first and foremost is crucial in order to be able to care for someone else. Setting aside regular time to relax, or even visiting friends, can help manage feelings like anger or sadness that may stem from grief.
If you are a carer or know someone in a caregiver role that you would like to support, take a look at our carers page.
A closer look
It helps to make time to look after yourself as well as the person you are caring for
Grief itself is not a mental illness
It helps to tell your story
A carer can experience grief and loss for someone who has not yet passed away
It can help to reach out to others who have similar experiences
A year after my father died, I still felt really bad and wasn't functioning well. Twelve months down the track, things should have been improving, but they still felt the same. I had a very strong sense that that was not normal, or that at least I should have been feeling a bit better. I had gone beyond mourning and I realised I needed help.
It's easy for carers to lose their identity. All the focus is on the person for whom they are caring, not the carer. They're like invisible people. It's important that carers make time to do the things they love, and have a life outside of caring.
I tackled the grief and depression by setting myself goals every day – starting with little things like, I'm going to shower, I'm going to wash the dishes. That helped me feel better about myself and better about my environment. So just trying to do little things gives you the motivation to go on to more challenging things like study and work.