The Many Emotions of Caregiving


Caregiving is filled with many emotions. Rayna Neises , of a Season of Caring, talks with Laura Beth DeHority, a Licenced Marriage and Family Therapist, who specializes in supporting caregivers. Emotions are a big part of caregiving but often a silent part. Laura Beth shares about the many emotions experienced by caregivers and what anticipatory grief looks like.


Primary Emotions:

  • Fear of present, past, and future
  • Anger- the most passionate of the caregiver emotions
  • Guilt- caused by thoughts that you haven’t done enough for your loved one
  • Doubt and Confusion- irrational thoughts that are the outgrowth of fear, powerlessness, overwhelm, and guilt.
  • Bargaining- a tool used to move past the guilt
  • Isolation and Abandonment- feeling all alone, though you aren’t
  • Overwhelm- exhausted and lost the ability to ask for or receive help
  • Despair- sudden waves of pain, fear, and overwhelm
  • Crisis of Identity-feeling confused as to your purpose, your passion and who you are as a person
  • Resentment-a feeling of unfairness or irritation at the situation
  • Denial- avoiding the pain and disappointments involved in caregiving

Anticipatory Grief

  • The loss of hope due to the ramification
  • The stages are the same as other grief

Components of healthy grieving

  • Spiritual time
  • Physical activity
  • Focused/ productive time
  • Active playtime
  • Inactive downtime
  • Connection with supportive people