Definitions for compassion fatigue

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Random House Webster's College Dictionary

compas′sion fatigue`(n.)

  1. a lack of sympathy for suffering, as a result of continuous exposure to those in need of aid.

    Category: Common Vocabulary

Origin of compassion fatigue:

1980–85, Amer.

Freebase

  1. Compassion fatigue

    Compassion fatigue, also known as secondary traumatic stress, is a condition characterized by a gradual lessening of compassion over time. It is common among individuals that work directly with trauma victims such as nurses, psychologists, and first responders. It was first diagnosed in nurses in the 1950s. Sufferers can exhibit several symptoms including hopelessness, a decrease in experiences of pleasure, constant stress and anxiety, sleeplessness or nightmares, and a pervasive negative attitude. This can have detrimental effects on individuals, both professionally and personally, including a decrease in productivity, the inability to focus, and the development of new feelings of incompetency and self doubt. Journalism analysts argue that the media has caused widespread compassion fatigue in society by saturating newspapers and news shows with often decontextualized images and stories of tragedy and suffering. This has caused the public to become cynical, or become resistant to helping people who are suffering.

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"compassion fatigue." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/compassion fatigue>.

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