Anger and Abuse

Anger is a common Care Giver Emotion. The situation feels and is unfair. Hurtful words might be spoken during a difficult task, doors might be slammed during a disagreement, and shouting in frustration sometimes replaces conversation. Anger and frustration needs to be addressed and healthy outlets need to be developed before angry encounters become physically or emotionally abusive.

Abusive Behaviour Is Never Acceptable

Tensions, though, can mount in the most loving of families. While circumstances that produce frustration and anger are often unavoidable, an emotionally damaging or physically aggressive response is not okay. If tensions are mounting, call for a time-out, and call for help.

Physical abuse usually begins in the context of giving or getting personal help—the Care Giver might be too rough during dressing or grooming. The person with MS might scratch a Care Giver during a transfer.

Once anger and frustration reach this level, abuse by either partner can become more frequent. The dangers of physical abuse are obvious, but emotional abuse is also unhealthy and damaging.

Continued humiliation, harsh criticism, or manipulative behaviours can undermine the self-esteem of both Care Givers and care receivers. Therapists and marriage counsellors can help families when tensions get to this level.

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