It’s important to look after your own mental health too.
Supporting someone else is sometimes called caring. You are a carer if you provide (unpaid) support and care for someone who has an illness, disability, mental health problem or addiction.
People often assume that carers tend to be women but research shows that around four in ten carers are men.
Being someone’s carer probably only describes part of your relationship with them. You may also be a parent, partner, sister, brother, child, friend or other family member. This relationship can be just as (or more) important to you. You may also have other caring roles as well, for example as a parent to other children.
Supporting others can be mentally and physically exhausting. The time you spend caring can really vary too – some people look after someone for just a short time and others find themselves caring for someone for the long term.
As a carer you spend a lot of your time focusing on someone else. You may feel as if you just have no time at all for yourself. But looking after your own wellbeing is important for you and for them.
This booklet provides advice for people who are supporting or acting as a carer for someone else, and want to know how to look after their own mental health. It offers advice on how to look after yourself and where to get further support.
Talking to someone can help
Even if their experience isn’t exactly the same as yours, finding common ground with other carers can make you feel less alone and isolated.
Contact the Carers Trust Scotland on 0300 123 2008.