Compassion fatigue


      • emotional exhaustion
        To describe the feeling of being overwhelmed or worn out from constantly feeling empathy and compassion towards others, particularly those who are suffering or struggling

      • desensitization
        To refer to the gradual decline in one's ability to feel empathy and compassion, often caused by repeated exposure to traumatic or distressing situations

      • burnout
        To describe the state of being physically, mentally, and emotionally drained as a result of caring for others, whether personally or professionally

    Examples of Compassion fatigue


      The idiom "compassion fatigue" is commonly used to describe the emotional exhaustion, desensitization, and burnout that can occur when continuously caring for others. It highlights the toll that empathy and compassion can take on an individual, leading to a decrease in their ability to feel and respond to others' suffering.

      Compassion fatigue is often experienced by healthcare workers, first responders, and caregivers, who are exposed to constant trauma and suffering in their line of work. It can also affect individuals in personal relationships, such as family members caring for a sick loved one. The intention of the idiom is to recognize the strain and burden that come with constantly feeling compassion and to acknowledge the need for self-care and support.

      Origin of "Compassion fatigue"

      The term "compassion fatigue" was first used in the 1950s by social workers, who noticed the emotional and physical exhaustion experienced by those working in the helping professions. It became more widely used in the 1990s, particularly in the fields of psychology, nursing, and social work. The origin of the idiom can be traced back to the concept of emotional labor, which refers to the effort and energy required to manage and regulate one's emotions in a professional setting.

      The use of "compassion fatigue" is also influenced by the Buddhist concept of "compassion burnout," which refers to the exhaustion and detachment that can occur when one continuously practices compassion towards others without taking time for self-care. This idea highlights the importance of finding balance and setting boundaries in order to maintain one's ability to feel empathy and compassion towards others.