What is Compassion Fatigue?
Compassion fatigue is defined as the caregiver’s cost of caring and results when caregivers are exposed to repeated interactions requiring high-levels of empathic engagement with distressed clients. Compassion fatigue has physical, mental, emotional, and psychological symptoms that can lead to a number of issues including, depression, anxiety, and burnout.
Compassion fatigue leads to disengagement in the helping profession and causes many good workers to leave their profession early. Burnout, which is another commonly linked term, is the “result of powerlessness and low job satisfaction” and leads to employee disengagement.
Research has found while there are similarities, compassion fatigue leads to burnout and happens more abruptly, and is due to direct exposure to another’s trauma.