Danger: Caregiving is Hazardous to your Health!

We are all Caregivers! For at the Heart of Being Human is to Care; To Reach Out to Others and Explore the Relationships We Build.
Caregivers Get Exhausted Because They Care
Caregivers Get Exhausted Because They Care
ATASCADERO, Calif. - Oct. 21, 2022 - PRLog -- Yes, caregiving is dangerous to our health because caregiving leads, if unchecked, to compassion fatigue and burnout. There isn't a caregiver I know who doesn't feel exhausted. It is an occupational hazard. Dr. Charles Figley in his book Compassion Fatigue states that those who care for others vicariously experience their clients' symptoms. While most caregivers are attentive to the needs of others, they are equally notorious for not developing skills of self-care. Don't blame them for this! They struggle with and face three cultural taboos that prevent self-care.

We Are Taught To Be Invincible

These cultural taboos are children of our cultural myth that we are invincible, like superman or superwoman. We are taught to be self-reliant and find it difficult to ask for help. It springs from the Horacio Alger myth that as long as we keep working at it, we can accomplish anything. While there this a truth to this myth, the shadow side is that growth and healing are relational. We cannot do everything by ourselves, especially in overcoming compassion fatigue and burnout.

What prevents Caregivers from developing skills of self-care?

Simply the cultural taboos that caregivers face. The first is not to trust. Trusting can be dangerous for a caregiver. It begins with caregivers not trusting those interior movements with themselves. The first step to recovery is the acknowledgment that I, as a caregiver, have an issue to be explored. If I am fearful of addressing and trusting my experiences, I begin to isolate myself from not only what I am feeling, but also from my family, friends, and teammates. Not being invincible beings about shame and ridicule.


Because I learn not to trust, I don't communicate my story. This is the second taboo. Telling our story means that someone will listen. Caregivers experience normal reactions to abnormal traumatic experiences. They don't want advice; they want to be heard. Who will listen when I wish to express my reaction to a deadly automobile accident? The expectation is to be strong, to grin and bear it. Communicating one's story is a sign of weakness. It is the beginning of healing and recovery.

Because I learn not to trust, or communicate my story, I learn not to express my emotions. Emotions are dangerous, so we bury them. Reflection leads us to the depths of our soul allowing healing to occur. It is common to have normal reactions to traumatic events. To Trust, To Communicate, and To Feel shatter the glass ceiling that prevents self-care, which I like to call Soul-Care.

For more information visit Dr. Smink's website: www.soulofcaregiving.com

Source: » Follow
Tags:Caregiving, Caregivers, Compassion Fatigue
Location:Atascadero - California - United States
Account Email Address Verified     Account Phone Number Verified     Disclaimer     Report Abuse

Like PRLog?
Click to Share