About Compassion Fatigue
Compassion fatigue is a condition characterized by emotional and physical exhaustion leading to a diminished ability to empathize or feel compassion for others, often described as the negative cost of caring. It is sometimes referred to as secondary traumatic stress (STS). According to the Professional Quality of Life Scale, burnout and secondary traumatic stress are two interwoven elements of compassion fatigue.
The Effects of Compassion Fatigue
Hearing and witnessing the patient’s stories of abuse and trauma can weigh heavily on the professional, causing feelings of stress. Experts have found that self-care techniques both psychological and somatic can reduce susceptibility to the internalization of traumatic stress and compassion fatigue.