Has the World Been Too Much for You Lately? Psychologists Have a Name for This
If the string of natural disasters that have occurred over the last few weeks have left you feeling emotionally drained, you're not alone. With hurricanes in Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and Puerto Rico, and earthquakes in Mexico, New Zealand, and Japan in such a short time span, many of us are feeling overwhelmed and unsure of how to help.
Fortunately, Gordon C. Nagayama Hall, Ph.D. over at Psychology Today has a name for what we're all experiencing: compassion fatigue. Compassion fatigue is essentially the emotional exhaustion you feel when learning about the continuous suffering of others. It has a way of making you feel helpless, overwhelmed, and frustrated by your perceived lack of ability to make a positive impact.
When you experience compassion fatigue, the brain shuts down due to too much emotional stimulation and too few ways to feel useful.