Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Compassion Fatigue

I work in a psychiatric prison.  I see lots of brutal behavior by patients, self-injurious, and assaultive.  I hear stories of people who have lived in horrendously violent, inhumane, abusive environments. I hear about horribly violent crimes.

I think I may be susceptible to compassion fatigue.  But, I hope I have an antidote.  I am able to spend time with my patients offering them hope, positive coping skills, and new ways of thinking about dealing with their lives. 

However, sometimes I wonder just what kind of toll this work has taken on on me.  There are times when I go home and do not want to have to deal with any reality... I just want to veg out. So, those times, I know I am suffering compassion fatigue.

I have various social outlets that are planned and take me out of that fugue.  That is important. I need to interact with common, regular or normal people so I feel the normalcy of life.

Hopefully, I am working on not suffering from compassion fatigue

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