Compassion Fatigue

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Most caregivers have probably heard about caregiver stress and burnout, but many are unfamiliar with the concept of compassion fatigue.

Compassion fatigue is the next level. It is a state of numbness, indifference, pessimism, and hopelessness toward others. It can feel like complete depletion of your empathy bucket. You begin to notice feelings of frustration, overworked, unappreciated, resentment, isolation, guilt, and you may find that you have an anger response when someone suggests you engage in self-care, like a bubble bath. A bubble bath is NOT sufficient to help refill an empty bucket.

Often Compassion Fatigue is referred to as an occupational hazard for nurses, mental health professionals, correctional workers, and child protection workers. But it can also affect family caregivers. When you are providing care for someone in emotional and physical distress with limited options for providing comfort, it can be exhausting, extremely stressful, and, at times, traumatizing.

Compassion fatigue is real and serious. No one is immune. Anyone who is providing care for others can be susceptible to compassion fatigue. If you are finding yourself moving closer to the Compassion Fatigue range on the spectrum of the caregiving journey, it is time to seek help. No one can do this alone. I would love to be a support in your village. Let’s refill your bucket.

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