The Consequences of Burnout and Compassion Fatigue
If you’re experiencing the symptoms of burnout or compassion fatigue and they’re not getting better, you likely don’t have the skills you need to prevent or recover from burnout or compassion fatigue. You may wish you could quit your job and you may even do it. You may also be tempted to self-medicate with alcohol, drugs, sex, or food to escape from your feelings.
If you stay on the job, you’ll still have your technical skills, but you won’t feel connected and engaged the way you once did. You’ll be surprised by how many mistakes you make; the high stress caused by both burnout and compassion fatigue can make it difficult to think clearly.
Caregivers need care, too.
The way you mentally process your experiences has more influence over whether you become burned out or suffer compassion fatigue than the situations you experience. Some people succumb faster than others, and some don’t succumb at all. The difference is in how they think about their experiences.