Because you have always heard about people facing burn out in their jobs, in their lives, and in taking care of their family. And you might think that this person is just being a wimp, or is just stressed out, or is just taking on and caring too much. But I can honestly tell you that Compassion Fatigue, is a real medical condition that anyone who care about you, and anyone you care about can suffer from, when they take on your problems as their own and vice verse. But First, What Is Compassion Fatigue?
Compassion Fatigue, is also known as secondary traumatic stress, and counter transference. And although related, compassion fatigue is not the same as burnout, but may be considered a further step along a continuum toward deeper stages of depression related to trauma and stress. Also Burnout produces emotional exhaustion and withdrawal, a sort of numbness to and distancing from the cares and concerns of others.
But in Compassion Fatigue, there is a persisting preoccupation with the individual, and you spend all of your time worrying about that person, their problem and their feelings. Or you may also experience cumulative trauma of friends and family members, that is manifested in one or more ways, including; re-experiencing some aspect of the traumatic event, avoidance/numbing of reminders of the event, and physical symptoms.
Symptoms of compassion fatigue often parallel those of the population being served. And some things that you must know are that Compassion fatigue is a deeply devastating physical, emotional and spiritual exhaustion accompanied by acute emotional pain, yet it is almost impossible to recognize without a heightened awareness of it. Experts agree that one of the greatest challenges in dealing with compassion fatigue is being able to recognize it in the first place.
FOR COMPASSION FATIGUE... HERE ARE SOME WARNING SIGNS:
Abusing food, alcohol, drugs
Diminished sense of personal accomplishment
Physical or emotional exhaustion
Less ability to experience joy
FOR COMPASSION FATIGUE... HERE ARE SOME GREAT THINGS YOU CAN DO TO OVERCOME:
You must recognize the importance of offering compassion for the person most important to the person with that very sad problem; that is, for yourself. Yes Beloved, you need compassion too for yourself.
Give yourself time to "unplug" from the hectic pace. You need to be able to step away from your stressful environment, and take a break from that loved one who is having that problem or that sad medical condition such as Cancer.
Learn about setting appropriate limits and boundaries. Don’t assume responsibility for solving problems that aren’t part of your role. Use a Therapist, Counselor of Life Coach
Don’t take on additional problems. You probably already have enough of your own. So with your family and friends, you have to set aside time for when you can deal with and try to help with each one of their problems.
The ability to reconnect with a spiritual source will help in achieving an inner balance that can keep you on course through even the most stressful times. And when it comes to Compassion Fatigue, no greater benefit will you receive than to reconnect with The Source.
Another way to deal with Compassion Fatigue, is to have a good diet, exercise, rest and sleep. Because all these are foundational components of a balanced life. Also don't forget Humor. Because Humor is a quality of perception that enables us to experience joy even when faced with adversity. Your compassion advocate, James Dazouloute