Disorders Nurse syndrome: caring without caring

Nurse syndrome: caring without caring


Many people, especially women, spend their days taking care of others, but they forget about themselves. This is the so-called nurse syndrome. To overcome it, you have to start by learning to dedicate time to yourself.

Emma was the perfect caregiver. She took care of all her troublesome boyfriends and went out of her way to help them to the limit. However, this eagerness to care for others took its toll. She forgot about herself and ended up letting all her partners take advantage of her.

The case of Emma, ​​who came to my office when she felt that something was wrong with her relationships, is common. In our society, many people, from a very young age, are instilled with the mandate to care for others. This usually happens especially with girls, pigeonholed by the patriarchy, since the Neolithic, in passive roles of attention to the needs of others.

Throughout their lives, these girls, later women, dedicate their lives to the service of others, take care of them, wash them, clothe them, protect them, but everyone, including themselves, forget that they too need care and cares.

When looking for a partner, driven by this powerful psychological imposition, which was burned by the thousands of times that as a child she received the order to care for others, these women tend to feel attracted to people with problems, in need of lots of care and attention.


Their mandate ends up leading them to maintain relationships with emotionally and / or physically ill couples that they have to be aware of 24 hours a day. In this way, weeks, months and years can go by, without spending a minute on themselves. Not only is it that they do not have time, it is that their pattern prevents them from thinking that to be well, healthy and balanced, they need to take care of themselves.

Over the years, these demanding relationships tend to end badly. The person who tries to give their help does not achieve the healing of the other and the sick person, he ends up dragging and sinking his partner in his problems.

It must be clarified that women suffering from this syndrome feel very unhappy, sad, sunk in a deep well from which they do not see the way out. Their eagerness to care for and save the other person, the fruit of their patterns and mandates, keeps them in a life that makes them desperate. They see no way out, but their own mandate prevents them from seeing the solution. Psychologically, at a very deep level, helping others represents an attempt to help themselves.


I remember the case of Emma, ​​who when she came to my office had a history of extremely problematic couples. A drug addict and an alcoholic had been his most significant relationships.

When she turned forty, Emma realized that all her relationships repeated a negative pattern and, her best friend, recommended that she start therapy with me to find out the origin of her problem and solve it.

Emma was a quiet and obedient child, dedicated all her childhood to the care of her three little sisters. The young woman told me how when she was 10 years old, every afternoon, her parents went to work in the family-owned store and she stayed in the care of her 8, 6 and 3 year old sisters.

The youngest sister had serious motor problems and used a wheelchair, so in addition to watching her, he had to assist her by giving her food, taking her to the bathroom to relieve herself and even washing her. The parents imposed on Emma “the mission” to have dinner and baths for her sisters so that, when they arrived at night, they could rest.

When she got home from work, her parents would always bring her licorice, the girl’s favorite treat, and they would tell her about how good and responsible little Emma was. In this way, being a caregiver created her place in the family. With the praise and attention of her parents, the little girl felt valued, supported and loved. However, the negative part, hidden under candy and beautiful words, is that her parents delegated their responsibility to her and imposed on her the obligation to always take care of everyone.

One of the negative effects of becoming a caregiver for others is that, from a very young age, Emma stopped paying attention to her own needs. She never had time to take care of herself or to be a girl. I never played with friends. It never came out. He always had to take care of his sisters.

It is not surprising that, with this pattern, as an adult, the young woman was attracted to couples with serious problems, who needed someone to take care of them. But, as we talked about above, these kinds of relationships never end well.

Emma’s pending task was to reconnect with herself to take care of herself and worry about what she needed. She recognized that her story had affected her negatively and that her parents should not have placed such an enormous responsibility on her.

MindFixes Staffhttp://mindfixes.com
MindFixes is dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental disorders and advocating, educating, and serving all people with mental and substance use conditions. MindFixes is determined to persevere, learn, grow, love and laugh through our wellness journey and we invite all to join.


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