Compassion fatigue, also known as secondary traumatic stress (STS) or caregiver burnout is a very real problem for those who dedicate their lives to caring for others. Taking on the responsibility of looking after someone with a mental health condition can of course be very rewarding, but it can also be emotionally, physically and mentally draining. It is therefore vitally important for psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, psychotherapists and others in the caring professions look after their own well-being – something that we might all-too-easily overlook.
Nanette Burton Mongelluzzo, in her short article ‘ Compassion Fatigue and The Professional,’ gives her own perspective on the topic. She also explores the signs that point to secondary traumatic stress which include feelings of hopelessness, a decrease in pleasurable activities, anxiety and stress, insomnia and nightmares, among others.
So, the next time you visit your psychiatrist or health-care professional, spare a thought for them and be thankful – their job is not an easy one!
You can read Mogelluzzo’s full article here.