Saturday, August 29, 2009

Compassion Fatigue -- Similar to PTSD looks at the growing condition of "compassion fatigue" -- something experienced by many nurses, but also by people caring for loved ones.

Unlike burnout, which is caused by everyday work stresses (dealing with insurance companies, making treatment choices), compassion fatigue results from taking on the emotional burden of a patient's agony.

In a way, it's similar to post-traumatic stress disorder, except that the stress is a reaction to the trauma of another. As with PTSD, symptoms include irritability, disturbed sleep, outbursts of anger, intrusive thoughts, and a desire to avoid anything having to do with the patient's struggle.

Read more here.

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