Team Up Cancer

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Written By Walter Leonard 12/5/2015
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Caregiver Side of Anger 
    Caring for a cancer patient is inherently difficult. For those who care for cancer patients, whether as close friends or as family, a loved one’s diagnosis can be emotionally and physically taxing. Acting as a caregiver produces a wealth of emotions including anger, which is especially difficult for one to manage along with the stress and responsibilities of being a caregiver. Even though caregivers themselves may not actually have the cancer, the presence of the disease in one’s life can be detrimental to one’s health. In such a situation, it is crucial to be aware of the potential impacts of being a caregiver in order to practice self-care and prevent mental and physical health issues.
Causes of Anger
    Caregiver anger takes many different forms and has a variety of origins. As a caregiver, you may feel distressed because of feelings of a lack of control over the situation, lack of acknowledgment for your hard work, lack of help from other friends or family members, or from general stress and exhaustion. Whatever the cause of your anger may be, know that you are not alone in your experience, and try your best to cope with your frustration.   
Ways to Cope with Anger
Take a minute for reflection: In times of great distress, stop yourself and think through your emotions. Aim to pinpoint the cause of your anger, and seek to empathize with the person you are angry with. Ask yourself why they acted in a way that made you angry, considering their motivations and reasoning. Additionally, forgive yourself for feeling angry or upset. As a caregiver, you have a tremendously difficult job, and feeling frustrated at times is normal. During this time, remember not to ignore your own emotions and needs, and avoid treating yourself as less important.
Try to incorporate fun into your life: Along these same lines, it is important to remember what brings you joy and hold onto it. Seeking to have fun experiences both alone and with the person you are caring for can be extremely helpful for both of you, making the situation better for both parties involved. Do not feel guilty for taking small pieces of time for yourself; your wellbeing is important and necessary for you to do your best in your role as caregiver.
Find healthy ways to release stress and anger: Along with seeking to have fun moments, it can be useful to find activities that help you channel and release your anger, such as exercise, journaling, or venting to a friend. Different things work for different people, so do not be afraid to try many things until you find something that helps you.
Let go of things you cannot control: While this may be easier said than done, try your best to avoid allowing yourself to be upset over things that are out of your control. It can be extremely draining to worry about such issues, and as a caregiver, you have no extra energy to spare.

Remember that what you are doing is important, and you, as a person, are important. For more resources and help, visit