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Recognizing Compassion Fatigue

We can encounter Compassion Fatigue when we learn about a traumatic event experienced by another person. It’s a kind of stress associated with helping or wanting to help someone who is suffering, or has been traumatized. Ask yourself these questions,

  • Do I find it difficult to stop thinking about the trauma stories I’ve heard? 
  • Do I wonder why I bother caring, when my efforts don’t seem to make much of a difference? 
  • Do I sometimes feel afraid, even when there’s no threat to my safety? 
  • Have I had difficulty concentrating and organizing my thoughts? 

If you answered yes to these questions you might want to learn more about Compassion Fatigue. Experts agree that this mental health problem is almost impossible to recognize unless we can identify the symptoms. Knowing symptoms empowers us, helping us to make the necessary changes we need to stay healthy.

Look again at the questions above and think about the symptoms they represent:

  • Unable to stop thinking about the frightening things we hear
  • Cynical attitude
  • Reduced empathy
  • Irrational Fear
  • Spaciness
  • Confusion

Although there are other reasons you might experience these things, if you’re experiencing all of them, or a few of them all of the time, you might want to look carefully at your care giving. Maybe it’s time to make some changes.

What are some Compassion Fatigue Symptoms?


It is important to understand your thoughts and feelings to identify what may be contributing to them.


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