Compassion Fatigue-When Caring Hurts the Caregiver

 Compassion fatigue is closly related to post-traumatic stress disorder. Family members who are also caregivers of individuals with brain injury are at risk for compassion fatigue or secondary traumatic stress. This tip card describes the warning signs of physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral changes that may worsen and harm the caregiver's health, functioning, and relationships. It provides tips for empowering yourself to care for your mind, body, spirit, and relationships as your first priority. There are tips to care for your body, mind, and spirit as well as suggestions for how to make caregiving safer and more satisfying. Many caregivers say it is the hardest work they have ever done but it also has special meaning and rewards. But caring for yourself is critical to avoid the burnout of compassion fatigue.