Coping emotionally

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Many caregivers feel angry at some point. Caregiver anger usually comes from feeling out of control, overwhelmed, anxious, scared, tired or stressed. As a caregiver you may feel angry that others are not helping enough, or angry at yourself for not doing more.


Anxiety is a feeling of uneasiness, discomfort or impending doom. It is common for people taking care of someone with cancer to experience anxiety. It can be caused by a loss of control, fear for the patient’s well-being, worry over family finances, uncertainty about the future, and feelings of being overwhelmed.


Feeling sad is normal when dealing with cancer. People can usually deal with this short-term. But, ongoing feelings of depression need to be treated with counseling and/or medication. Caregiver stress and overload can put you at risk of depression.


Fatigue is an overwhelming sense of tiredness. You may have little energy to do the things you normally do—even if you are getting enough sleep. Caregivers are at risk of fatigue from emotional stress, overload, poor sleep, poor nutrition, and not enough exercise.

Fear & Uncertainty

Cancer and cancer treatment can be scary and unpredictable. Feelings of fear and uncertainty among caregivers are normal. But, they can become a problem if the caregiver feels he or she has no control over life, or is overly anxious, angry, depressed, or stressed as a result.

Loneliness & Isolation

Caregivers have a lot to do. There are bills to pay, people to call, prescriptions to pick up, and appointments to go to. You may lose track of friendships and stop having a social life because of caregiving duties. This isolation can make you feel lonely, depressed, or sick.

Sleep Problems

Sleep problems can change the way you think and feel. If you haven’t had a good night's sleep, you may feel tired, irritable, and/or jittery. You may not feel like doing anything—even things that are usually enjoyable. Caregivers often have sleep problems.