Compassion Fatigue

What Is Compassion Fatigue?

Compassion Fatigue happens when your day-in and day-out environment is gut-wrenching. You continually see and experience things that take an emotional toll on you. It is the gift and the curse of having strong empathy. You feel the emotions of others on a deep level. You experience their anger, fears, and traumas. This empathic experience is very profound. So much so, that it’s likely that you’ve tried to provide relief to a given situation or person. But, it does no good. The situation remains unchanged and the larger society prefers to ignore it. As a result, you begin to develop a negative outlook towards your work and/or the situation. You start to not care. And yet you know that you should. It’s horrible, but what are you going to do about it? If you don’t care about it, it can’t stress you out. That is compassion fatigue.

Everyone, absolutely everyone who works and/or lives in an environment in which you overuse your compassion skills is at risk for developing compassion fatigue symptoms. It is not a disorder. It’s not something that you wake up one day and discover that you have. Symptoms are on a continuum and may take months, even years to develop. It is a normal, typical consequence of chronic stress and extreme empathic engagement. Think of it as a smoldering fire that eats away at your contentment and happiness.

Online therapy for compassion fatigue with expats

I Can’t Change My Environment, So What Can I Do About It?

The first step to managing compassion fatigue symptoms is to notice its presence. This simple acknowledgment will bring about a heightened awareness that you are a caring person. One that needs to bring their self-care and care for others into better balance. It is possible to keep your commitment to making positive changes in the world. All while practicing meaningful self-care. Your resiliency can be nurtured so that you can recover from emotional exhaustion.

I think I have the symptoms of compassion fatigue, but…

This work is my life’s passion. I’m too ashamed to admit I feel this way.

Compassion fatigue is a normal human response to chronic, unrelenting stress. You do the work and see things that other people can’t even tolerate hearing about. It is your mind’s way of protecting you when the realities of what you do and see become too much. It does not mean that you’re a bad person or that there is something wrong with you. From the comfort and privacy of your home, we can work to process these experiences and resulting feelings. Then, we can work together to develop a self-care plan to help ease your symptoms.

I’ve lived with it for this long and I’m doing fine.  It’s become who I am.

Are you someone who has been in the caregiving role for an extended period? If so, it’s quite likely that you’ve been on the continuum of symptoms for some time. It may feel like it’s become a part of who you are. But, untreated compassion fatigue can lead to depression, sleep disruptions, intrusive thoughts, and even suicidal ideations. Talking to a therapist can help you lay it all out there and plan a healthier way to move forward.

Begin Compassion Fatigue Therapy

Your compassion for others is a gift, even though it may feel like a curse at times. Our team understands the struggles you may be experiencing and is trained to help. A caring therapist can help you improve resiliency from the comfort of your own home. To start your therapy journey with Apricity Expat Therapy, please follow these simple steps:

  1. Click below to schedule your free 15-minute consultation

  2. Meet with a therapist

  3. Begin coping with challenging situations

Other Services Offered with Apricity Expat Therapy

Understanding your gift of compassion is much easier said than done. We understand that a variety of factors may affect how you are feeling, which is why we are happy to offer a variety of services to support your mental health. Our team assists individuals in the US and internationally to improve their mental health. Learn more about our other services by visiting our blog, FAQ, or about page today!