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Compassion Fatigue – What is it?

Compassion Fatigue is more prevalent than you might realise. What what is it, and who suffers from it?

Health care professionals, doctors, veterinarians, dentists, psychologists, social service workers. Teachers, attorneys, legal professionals, coaches, police officers, firefighters. Clergy, animal or human shelter workers and defence force personnel. The careers of these people can become a daily grind as if going to war (at work). This is because they are being exposed daily to the sights and sounds of trauma, pain, abuse and neglect. Helpers, volunteers and carers may also feel a negative effect associated with their ability to help and not change the situation.

Compassion Fatigue or Caregive Fatigue

People who work in “helping professions” at high risk of sucummbing to compassion fatigue. They are routinely called to respond to individual, community, national, and even international crises. Disaster site clean-up crews who offer assistance at the time of the event often suffer considerably. Furthermore, others who offer assistance after the event may also be negatively affected by their contact with these events.

We all will understand the feeling of emotional fatigue. Particularly for those in extremely difficult circumstances, it can be especially traumatic. A partner, whether husband or wife, wanting to make a marriage work can be affected. It can also affect a parent or parents wanting to make the family work, or the relationship with a child work. Victims of domestic violence and those living in dysfunctional families can all carry lasting affects from compassion fatigue.

Anyone who is exposed to ongoing stress can be a sufferer of this compassion fatigue and burnout syndrome. Whether the sufferer experiences primary ( exposure or vicarious (experienced indirectly) sources of traumatic stress, the emotional effects are real.

“The things you see and hear that cannot be unseen and unheard”


Compassion Fatigue

Why Others Before Self?

The person becomes their work, their purpose and their passion and are not able to separate themselves. In as much as 90% of cases, this commitment “reignites any unresolved trauma or abuse the person has experience personally in their younger life”. Negative core beliefs or limiting beliefs keep the person in a repeating habit, pattern or behaviour throughout their life. Such a person is prone to become a compassionate fatigue candidate. A great many clients do not realize the reason they are in their career, or volunteering. It is because subconsciously they want and need to protect, save, rescue, change others before themselves. The person’s unconscious memory controls their behaviour and their life.

Have you ever been willing to put your life on the line for others? Do you put your heart and soul into your life, work, career for your clients, patients, students or animals? Have you ever cared so deeply for someone it hurt you to see them suffer? Of course you have because you are compassionate, sympathetic and nurturing. It is part of our human nature to be this way.

Emotional Depletion and Compassion Fatigue

Emotional depletion, a side effect of compassion fatigue, can be caused by taking the ‘work’ home with you. Also by determining your own value by the outcome of your clients and the ongoing drain of hearing stories of sadness and struggle. This is magnified if you have a great deal of non-work stress in your personal life. Furthermore not being able to disconnect mentally, emotionally and physically from the negative impact will worsen the situation.

Compassion Fatigue Treatment

The risk of emotional depletion can be modified by developing emotional resiliency. This means engaging in self care and being able to “switch off” the compassion emotion. In addition, learning coping or problem-solving skills is invaluable. When you are aware of the side effects of what is going on, you have a choice. You have a chance to change your daily patterns and habits to a healthier, beneficial life for you.

As the airline stewardess advises us “put the oxygen mask on yourself first – before anyone else.”


Hi, I’m Bernie Giggins and I am dedicated to helping people.  I am passionate about helping people stay in their professions, reigniting their passion and refuelling their purpose to continue doing what they love.  This includes being paid for it, financially, emotionally, mentally and physically.  Or, to connect them with their soul purpose and find the career or life that is aligned to their heart.

If you feel you have Compassion Fatigue, contact me right away.  I can help.

I coach professionals to heal and erase the trauma, whether current or past.  We nurture to refill with positive supportive influences and mindset.  This enables them to recharge their life so they can then return to work (or resume their life) with a flow of abundant life force energy. 

Release, refill, recharge and live your passion. 

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First Step to Soul Freedom

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