Overthinking Your Decisions as an Alzheimer's Caregiver
Last updated: February 2023
When it comes to making decisions about your loved one's care - there's a lot to think about. You want to make sure you are doing what's best for your loved one and everyone involved. You want to make sure that you are not rushing to judgment about something that is going to have a long-term impact on your family.
And you want to make sure that you have all of the information and have considered all of the possible scenarios.
Decisions about your loved one with Alzheimer's
Your emotions come into play, as well, because you know the reason you are having to make these tough decisions in the first place.
You are losing your loved one right before your eyes and it's incredibly heartbreaking to witness. You never dreamt of the day you would have to consider placing your loved one in a memory care facility. Maybe you even promised your loved one that you would never do such a thing.
It's hard not to consider all of these emotions when you are faced with a difficult decision regarding your loved one's care.
How do you know if you're overthinking it?
It is important to note that there is a difference between making an informed decision and overthinking an important decision. It's one thing to gather all of the information and weigh all of the pros and cons, but another to overthink the decision.
So, how do you know if you're overthinking it?
Are you mulling over the same question?
One way to tell is by the amount of time you spent trying to make the decision. While it's necessary to take your time and make sure you are not rushing to judgment, it is also possible that you have been putting off making a difficult decision by overthinking it.
If you have been pondering a decision for several weeks or months and you have yet to act on it, you are likely overthinking it. Of course, the bigger the decision the longer it will take you to decide, but if it feels like I'm speaking directly to you on this - then you are likely overthinking things.
Are you torturing yourself with all of the "what ifs"?
Another sign of overthinking in Alzheimer's caregiving is if you are trying to find an answer or solution to every possible question or scenario that you can think of.
Again, it's important to have answers to the big questions, but it's also possible that you are coming up with obscure questions and unlikely scenarios in an attempt to stall the actual decision-making.
If you find that you are constantly asking yourself, "What if?" Then you are likely overthinking.
Are you catastrophizing the situation?
Finally, if you are catastrophizing, imagining the worst-case scenario, or letting your emotions take control - you are probably overthinking.
Catastrophizing or thinking of horrible things that are very unlikely to actually happen is a clear sign of overthinking. You are worrying about things that will probably never happen. Allowing your emotions to convince your brain of things that you know are not true, "I'm a bad daughter" or "My husband is going to hate me" are also clear signs of overthinking.
You have to try to take the emotions out of things as much as possible if you are ever going to make a decision.
Signs of overthinking and Alzheimer's caregiving
When it comes to making tough decisions about your loved one's care, you may never feel like you are doing the right thing. But overthinking can cause unnecessary stress and pressure.
What signs of overthinking have you experienced in your Alzheimer's caregiving? Tell us about your experience in the comments below, or share your story with the community.
Have you or your loved one been diagnosed with Mild cognitive impairment?