Compassion Fatigue * Part 1

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"Caregivers and ministry leaders are not only susceptible to increased levels of stress ... when combined with a call to love and serve others, the result is what is commonly referred to as compassion fatigue. 

Compassion fatigue can be understood as a comprehensive exhaustion that takes place over time when one is constantly in the 'giving' position and, as a result, loses his/her ability and motivation to experience joy, satisfaction, or feel and care for others. 

It is sometimes referred to as secondary or vicarious traumatic stress associated with the emotional residue related to the cause of caring.  The traumatic event or crisis did not happen to you directly, but you were close enough to those it did impact that its detrimental effects can still have a causal outcome."

Most of us can make our way through tough times and emerge relatively unscathed.  It doesn't mean we're not worn out or sad but we do make it through.  We've felt God's presence and give thanks it's over and done with.  We put up our feet for a bit, re-charge, and then we're on our way no worse for wear.

But then there's the trials that go on longer, their impact is deeper, and nothing is wrapped up in three easy steps.  There seems to be no relief in sight because everywhere we turn, something urgent pops up that demands our attention and we slowly but surely begin to get a bit crispy around the edges. 

Overwhelmed.  Frazzled.  Exhausted.  Running on empty.

A sense of numbness slowly creeps into every crevice.  Joy, passion, zeal, and purpose fade to a distant memory.  The weariness is soul-deep, tomorrow seems daunting, and God somehow seems further away than we can ever remember.

Hello compassion fatigue.  Burnout.  Ministry fatigue syndrome.  

Call it what you want, this body/mind/soul level exhaustion is sadly alive and well in the church among the people of God.  It was always there but covid did us no favors.  This level of fatigue impacts every level of our lives and left unacknowledged and unattended, its relentless tentacles reach deep into our health, relationships, decision-making, ministries, everything.

Ministry leader.  Health professional.  Griever.  Pastor.  Therapist.  Church staffer.  Teacher.  Ministry volunteer.  People helper.  Director of this or chairman of that.  Family member.  Job hunter.  Chronic health sufferer.

Let's talk.  That's where the healing starts.

Please Note - If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, please contact your doctor for an evaluation.

CALL 911
tell them it is a mental health
emergency & you would
like a CCIT or CIT 
trained officer
988 Suicide & Crisis Hotline
go immediately to your local 
hospital emergency room


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