Are Lawyers Jerks? Or Is It 'Compassion Fatigue?'

Are Lawyers Jerks? Or Is It ‘Compassion Fatigue?’

Being exposed to traumatizing situations throughout the day and night can be a significant influence for someone whose work is centered around helping other people through the trauma. Combine that with the stresses from everyday living, it’s easy to influence a person’s job and outlook on life. Lawyers provide support to their clients often in difficult times however, if they do not set the proper limits, they could find themselves in a tough mental state. There is a temptation to classify attorneys as “sharks” who are apathetic disconnected, detached and mostly concerned with the weakness of their adversaries. However, are these emotions a sign of something more? It is possible that a lot of people individuals who display these characteristics are suffering from “compassion exhaustion”?

What’s the definition of Compassion Fatigue?

The repeated exposure to trauma and even secondhand exposure takes the toll of a professional’s mental health. It is also known as “secondary stress from trauma” as well as “vicarious trauma” the condition of compassion fatigue can be an ailment that is prevalent in lawyers and professionals from other fields who have to deal with trauma. Though they may appear in the same way but compassion fatigue differs from burnout.

What to Look for in a Compassionate Friend Fatigue

The symptoms of compassion fatigue may rear their heads in various ways. Many of them may be familiar to the people who work at the bar and bench. It can start with feeling overwhelmed and physically/emotionally exhausted. People suffering from this condition may also start to view the world as dangerous and feel the need to keep an eye on security of family members and their own. According to ABA Other signs of compassion fatigue are:

  • Being pessimistic, depressed, angry, and susceptible to take a vengeance
  • Being emotionally distant or feeling numb
  • Social withdrawal
  • Avoiding certain clients
  • The images that are disturbing from the instances can interfere with dream or thoughts

There is good news that the condition can be treated. And addressing it early can help prevent other more serious emotional/psychological disorders. Discussing these issues regardless of whether you’re talking to someone who is a professional in mental health, or a friend can be the most effective initial step. The experts also suggest regularly exercising, eating a balanced lifestyle, a restful night’s sleep as well as pursuing hobbies that aren’t tied to working. It’s not easy to do but we’ve all been there. Remember: There are many people out there with the same feelings as you do.

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