If there’s one thing I know for sure, treating Compassion Fatigue as just an occupational hazard and minimising its importance doesn’t help any caregiver who is feeling stressed as a result of their work.
If anything its demeaning to minimise the stress that is very normal to feel by anyone who is working in challenging role providing human services support to those in need.
As a result of the training that we carry out and our constant contact with people in a wide variety of roles, we know that Compassion Fatigue is very common, very widespread and very treatable. It doesn’t distinguish between professions or indeed levels and the inevitable outside stressors which form part of daily life can sometimes compound ones feelings.
Training and information is available. Change is possible, and it can be gentle but make a huge difference to how you feel. As Charles Figley, a leading researcher in this field suggests its the people who are highly motivated and very good at their jobs who can be most at risk of Compassion Fatigue. Because they care so deeply. Finding a way through is possible though people who are suffering from Compassion Fatigue can feel alone and have sometimes negative self evaluations.
If its all become too much. If you are suffering from stress symptoms such as chronic sleeplessness, depersonalisation, depression, isolation, anxiety etc. and you feel it might be due to your work don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Training, assistance and support is there for you.
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