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Compassion Burnout/Overload

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posted on Aug, 17 2011 @ 10:22 AM
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With all the on-going atrocities on the planet, and with every one of them being visited on us everyday through the media, it's beginning to take a toll.

I'm a compassionate person by nature. Haven't set it as a goal to try to achieve, nor do I have to work at it. Like many of you, male and female, it comes naturally. It's the way I'm wired.

But something has happened in the last few weeks. I can't look at injured animals. I don't want to see folks lying dead on the street in the Middle East. I don't want to think about the starving, dying children in Africa anymore.

I had the news on yesterday, and happened to pass by the TV in time to glimpse a two year old little girl lying dead on the street somewhere in the middle east. Anderson Cooper was explaining what had happened.

I walked away. Why? Because I didn't want to internalize that grief. I didn't want to think about the pain her family is in. I didn't want to imagine the future she lost, the confusion she felt as she lay dying, the pain she must have experienced. I didn't want to stay tuned to see her mother's grief first-hand.

It's too much. Too many tornados, tsunami's, murders, war casualties, innocent's blood spilling onto the streets. Too many starving children. Too many sick people who can't get medical care. Too many people living in camps, and tents with flies buzzing around their eyes.

My first instinct has always been to “help”. Well, I can't. I can't help. I don't know how. I don't have the trillions of dollars it would take to make a dent. I can't persuade the terrorists groups to stop killing their own people. I can't feed the starving people in other countries, and medicate them. I can't do it.

You guys, is it just me? Or has it become too much for us to digest anymore?




posted on Aug, 17 2011 @ 10:32 AM
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Im with you, I used to say..my heart goes out to that family, those people, that animal...but I've got no heart left to go out..gotta keep some for my little circle..

I think all these end of day forums are a result of 24/7 access to info around the world...this is the first time in history where anyone can know whats going on in almost 100% of the world 100% of the time..bad things have always..always happened..we just now know about it all.

I suggest you do what I do from time to time..when I'm going into disaster porn suffering overload..I take a few days off the internet and tv to read a frivolous book.
edit on 17-8-2011 by Stovokor because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2011 @ 10:35 AM
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Originally posted by ladyinwaiting

You guys, is it just me? Or has it become too much for us to digest anymore?


Your compassion overload burnout is a natural issue with those who care. So the answer to it is you have supports to take up were your compassion may need to recharge, as your energy DOES COUNT IN THE OVERALL in reference to caring. Many may not have the financial ability to support so the hearts and minds PRAYERS, LOVE SENT is the main way to support. Just by you feeling overwhelmed by the evol it shows your heart cares and that IS generating energy. SO with that take a break from it all why your brothers and sisters continue to support, and if you can once revived jump back into to emmitting that compassion for others you never know you may be effecting more then you give yourself credit.

Be well and good luck recharging ladyinwaiting



posted on Aug, 17 2011 @ 10:45 AM
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In charitable giving


Compassion fatigue can be seen in the resistance of the general public to give money to charity or other good causes due to overexposure. This is exacerbated by the increasing practice of charitable organizations requesting a potential patron's bank details for ongoing monthly donations rather than one-time donations. "Overexposure" in this context refers to the repeated solicitation of donations or voluntary efforts from civilians by charitable agencies, often triggered by natural disasters, or disasters of a large scale. Some people become frustrated by constantly being solicited for donations or they become skeptical that most of the money will ever reach the needy. For example, in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, many givers were frustrated with the Red Cross's handling of donations; they believed that their donations would go to the families of the victims, when the Liberty Fund only paid out approximately 1/3 of its receipts to families and dedicated the rest to long-term planning.


Source: :en.wikipedia.org...

Yes, we get this too. For example if you send one hundred dollars to the Salvation Army, next thing you know, you are being bombarded with mail from them asking for money. I did send them one hundred dollars, and noticed on the card they sent about two weeks later, the “how much will you give” box began with two hundred dollars, then went to three, five, and lastly “more”. So they theoretically asked for double what I gave them, right off the bat. Sigh.

And all the telephone solicitors. Need I say more? I did send money to the Red Cross after the Joplin tornado, however, and they just sent a thank you note. They didn't ask for more.



posted on Aug, 17 2011 @ 10:48 AM
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reply to post by Ophiuchus 13
 


You know what? Thanks.

I found your words encouraging. Maybe there's hope for me yet.



posted on Aug, 17 2011 @ 10:55 AM
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reply to post by Stovokor
 


Perhaps I do need to do as you say, but in a way, it's like cutting one's self off from the world we live in, which again, is not my nature. I like being involved.

lol. Maybe I'll go buy a cosmopolitan mag this afternooon. That should be full of nonsense. lol.



posted on Aug, 17 2011 @ 10:57 AM
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You need to start mentally practicing triage.

en.wikipedia.org...

That means, caring about and helping those with whom you are directly able to make a difference. That won't be everyone; it won't even be most people. It will, however, be some.

If you see a news report about a tsunami in another country, that is something that you can legitimately do nothing about. Pray for them if you like, but otherwise put it out of your thoughts.

If you come across someone lying on the ground in front of you in the street, however, that is very different. You have the capacity, right then and there, to make a real difference in that person's life; possibly to even decide whether or not they even continue to HAVE life, at all.

Whether or not we win the overall war, is not what is ultimately important. Focus on small, immediately available battles.
edit on 17-8-2011 by petrus4 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2011 @ 11:08 AM
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reply to post by petrus4
 


Excellent advice, and somewhere within my brain I know this. I will begin this practice immediately. "Triage". I like it. Nonetheless, it's difficult to see a two year old lying bleeding and dead in the street on television and not *feel* something. You know? Do you just block it out? Not let yourself experience it?

This "condition" I describe, is actually called "compassion fatigue". I honestly didn't know about it, and thought I had discovered an entire new area. Silly me.

I am, because of my work, familiar with "vicarious traumatization", which health care professionals can develop over time, from repeatedly hearing about the traumas of others. I keep that at bay.

However, I do think I experienced some of that after 911. My own little mini-PTSD, even though I'm a thousand miles away from ground zero. I think many of us did.

It's too much I tell ya! Too much!



posted on Aug, 17 2011 @ 11:10 AM
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I read your post,and I hope this advice helps.The world is a multifaceted place,and many people the world over sense a change in the air.The burnout you feel is shared by many,but they may not have your courage to admit this.When you see another human in pain,and this causes you to feel pain,we call this empathy.Imagine that all of us have a punch card for empathy,that gets renewed once a month.Some people at one pole would NEVER get any of there cards punched,and they would pile up in the corner of their house.Others at the opposite pole like your self would use up the card quickly,and have no more space left,but would keep punching away at it.This would leave you feeling drained perpetually.So here is my advice.Ignore the media ,100% of it.Turn off your cell phone.Go outside,and find silence for your ears,and something natural and pleasing for your eyes.Shut out the man made input for as long as you can.Breathe.Let your mind wander ,and let your emotions go wherever.After a little while think about nothing.This is not easy,but entirely vital.If you cant think about nothing,then concentrate on the rhythm of your breathing.This is how you can get a new card before the first day of the month.Please dont let this drained feeling cause you to seek refuge in a hard hearted attitude.I hope this helped.



posted on Aug, 17 2011 @ 11:11 AM
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Originally posted by petrus4
You need to start mentally practicing triage.

en.wikipedia.org...

That means, caring about and helping those with whom you are directly able to make a difference. That won't be everyone; it won't even be most people. It will, however, be some.

If you see a news report about a tsunami in another country, that is something that you can legitimately do nothing about. Pray for them if you like, but otherwise put it out of your thoughts.

If you come across someone lying on the ground in front of you in the street, however, that is very different. You have the capacity, right then and there, to make a real difference in that person's life; possibly to even decide whether or not they even continue to HAVE life, at all.

Whether or not we win the overall war, is not what is ultimately important. Focus on small, immediately available battles.
edit on 17-8-2011 by petrus4 because: (no reason given)


That's some seriously sound advice!



posted on Aug, 17 2011 @ 11:13 AM
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Originally posted by ladyinwaiting
Excellent advice, and somewhere within my brain I know this. I will begin this practice immediately. "Triage". I like it. Nonetheless, it's difficult to see a two year old lying bleeding and dead in the street on television and not *feel* something. You know? Do you just block it out? Not let yourself experience it?


Our society is currently progressing into the final stages of becoming a psychopath's paradise. The psychopaths in charge have laboured long and hard to bring about the scenario you currently see before you; literally tens of thousands of years, according to some.

Your reaction to the suffering of other lifeforms, is the direct opposite of theirs. The way things are right now is not an accident. We didn't get to this point randomly, at all. If we're going to change it before we become extinct, the one thing we need to do is learn to identify, expose, and immunise ourselves to these individuals, before it is too late.




posted on Aug, 17 2011 @ 11:16 AM
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God, you guys are so great. All of you.

I don't want to lose that part of me, that is empathetic and compassionate.

What I really want: I want it all to just stop. For people to stop it.

I hate it when I can't have my way.



posted on Aug, 17 2011 @ 11:24 AM
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Originally posted by ladyinwaiting
You guys, is it just me? Or has it become too much for us to digest anymore?


Compassion overload is certainly not just with you.
There's a youtube video I cant find just now that says we're all going into a state of "oh dear"ism, but paralysed to actually do anything to stop the overwhelming problems we see.

It also isnt helped by the recent massive expansion in the number of non profit organisations out there who each have their hand out wanting money, each have their own advertising campaigns making you feel guilty and each have their own bureaucratic pencil pushers sucking up the dollars in administration fees.

A google search finds...
In the UK, since May 2010, 6,400 new charities have been founded.
In February 2011, there were 41,600 Non Profit Organisations in Japan
There are more than 1.6 million NPOs in the United States alone.
The number of medical charities in Australia is an estimated 40000.
...
and on it goes.
You want to help them all?



posted on Aug, 17 2011 @ 11:52 AM
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Good comments on triage.

Jesus says that in those days the love of the greater number will cool off. So it's cool OP. But really, you are hot with desire, for others to get hot. It's just the general cooling off, that you are feeling. You are saying "why am I hot with love, and everyone else seems to be cooling off?" ..Well that's not how you said it, you speak of the increasing need being "too much".

But my point is that this thing called love, is always married to its corollary, hate. So if the love is cooling, it could just be that some hate is being increased, and it feels like a cooling off, of the fires of love within each person. And the media and all the broadcasts of nations, are about hate and creation of mental contradictions and this causes confusion and that leads to blind rage. So how can the heat of love, continue, when the cooling of rage, is being encouraged to rise? Just know that love = hot and hate = cold and you'll know you are a glowing hot rock who wonders if their glowing is hot enough. Relax, it is.

Love of course, is mercy. How much mercy do banks have? Do politicians have? How much mercy do lawyers have? The answer of course, is, none. That is the world we live in. a world of cooled-off people, no love.

So take all that feeling of 'burnout' and throw it off, because you are lovely in your concern for these things. The idea that a person may even reach "compassion burnout" is a wonderful thing, and that person, is a delight to the gods. This life is fleeting, but the love and hate we do here, lasts beyond this life. You can only do so much, so relax, and let people help YOU for a change, as I am sure your loved ones and friends, are offering to do.



posted on Aug, 17 2011 @ 12:07 PM
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reply to post by smallpeeps
 


I've got to run out for a while, and will comment more later, and on the above vid, but I just had to say, it's so incongruent to see someone with your avatar being so kind and using terms like "delight to the Gods".

The inconsistency made me laugh. It's kinda like you see a monster running towards you, then he stops, and offers you a cup of tea. lol. One of life's little surprises.



posted on Aug, 17 2011 @ 12:16 PM
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No, everyone who cares goes through this. I seem to flip between extreme empathy and complete apathy over and over again.

It's a survival mechanism to disconnect when we're too overwhelmed. If we don't, we go psychotic. You would be doing more damage to others by going psychotic, than not viewing every little blip of tragedy you can cram in.

I think what's best is for us to have local compassionate interests where we actually feel and can see we're helping to make a difference. Then we can continue to become aware of global events, but allow ourselves time to "recharge", and take mini-apathetic breaks for ourselves.

I don't think there's anything wrong with this, as long as we accept that we can only take so much, and also don't get stuck in apathy.



posted on Aug, 17 2011 @ 12:20 PM
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reply to post by ladyinwaiting
 


No, my friend, it is not just you. I think an above poster offered the best advice. Do what you can, don't turn your head away from injustices that you can help deter, but be careful of concerning yourself with things that go beyond your reach.

Peace.



posted on Aug, 17 2011 @ 12:30 PM
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reply to post by ladyinwaiting
 


In my opinion, you have taken the first step in actually helping those in need. You have realized your limitations and now you can prioritize those who YOU feel that you can actually help.

You have realized, even though I feel that you are quite the empathetic person, that you can't help everybody. That is a task that not even a goverment can undertake.

Breathe deep and don't let it overwhelm you. Do what you can as long as it doesn't break you. I don't know your status, but as another poster replied., you still have friends and family who may need your help in the future.

Take care and Good luck.



posted on Aug, 17 2011 @ 01:22 PM
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After working in factory farms and doing a lot of killing I consider the process of death as a release and they are now free to get on with the next stage of life. Some of emotional trouble that such war images can provide is in reminding people of their own mortality, there is no escaping this one and coming to terms with it helps.

The destruction of peaceful communities, social infrastructure, cultural morality, individual self worth and capacity are the problems that remain all wrapped up in a big blanket of pain, suffering and insecurity. It is a mess out there as the universe stumbles through the dark looking for a better world. There is billions of years of evolution and many complex interactions going on to help create these problems.

Your have been holding a bright light to help provide some clarity in cleaning up this mess and I can very much understand your arm getting tired holding out this torch. You are not alone with these difficult challenges and I am sure you will continue to be a positive influence in whatever you choose to do. When the problems seam insurmountable and overwhelming, keep your mind on the goal and take things one step at a time.



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 10:45 AM
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reply to post by LifeIsEnergy
 


Thank you, and back at you with your ordeal in the "Blood on my Shirt" thread. That was "triage". You can't provide immediate help a child being abused in the ME, or Africa, but you can and do when it's happening on a public street right in front of you.



**************

I can't tell you guys how much I appreciate the positive comments and the range of support and encouragement I've received here.

You guys are awesome, and I think it's beneficial to see the different ways people handle this issue.



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