In Their Words. 

"Pitchers wear down their shoulders. Runners wear down knees and hips. The professionally compassionate develop compassion fatigue." Doctor

"Compassion fatigue and burnout seem to put the responsibility squarely on the individual going through the trauma (along side their patients) when instead administrators should take a look at how they support their staff. Open options for individual or group therapy should be the norm for workers on the front lines." Former Healthcare Worker

"Vicarious trauma is so much more than compassion fatigue. The emotions pile up until dissociation (survival mode) sets in." Former Social Worker

"What are we supposed to do - go home and cry every night?" Teacher

"Our case loads grew and grew until we had nothing left to give. It's like a sponge being wrung out until it's bone dry and then wrung some more, and then having those doing the wringing (i.e. agencies) being angry that the sponge is dry and assuming it's a quality issue with the sponge." Former Special Education Teacher

"We're not special people, we're just people. People who are good at putting up a lot of walls and suppressing our emotions...more self-preservation than self-care." Doctor

"First responders, nurses, CPS workers, social workers, cops, etc. need to be respected and understood. They see things other people can close their eyes to. There is a HUGE need to find solutions." First Responder

"There are just some clients that have lost everything. When I leave them I go to be alone and cry and cry. Then I get it together and start all over again." Social Worker

"My co-workers and I started to get physically ill from the emotional stress from high caseloads." Social Worker

"Compassion fatigue is a real thing." Lawyer

"You can't save everyone and that wears on you." Social Worker

"Why is individual or group therapy not the norm? It's 2017!" Former Officer

"My husband gets verbally abused daily and has been threatened often. Ill people are not themselves but some behavior crosses the line." Wife of Primary Care Physician

"I was once completely awash in blood when a young woman came in stabbed in the aorta by her ex-husband. The blood was pouring out. She died. She had 4 young children. I went home, and continued on with my day like nothing happened." Nurse

"Sometimes it seems like they all die. This is why I ended up leaving ICU after 5 years...didn't feel it was fair to myself or my patients to continue working while feeling so burned out." Former Nurse

"It took me less than 2 years to burn out and never want to work as a nurse again." Former Nurse

"Fatigue, fatigue..." Social Worker

"There is a certain kind of fatigue that nurses experience that is like no other." Nurse

"I remember trying not to bust out laughing at meetings where well-rested executive management wasted no time telling us to practice "self care" and "avoid burnout." Sure sure. I can most certainly take the care I need working 24 hours in two days and making just enough money to pay the rent. I was constantly sick, exhausted, and burned out." Former Social Worker

"One shift I was feeling overwhelmed. I was feeling like it was all futile and pointless. I left the job. When I look back and realized I was just burned out." Social Worker

"You're never truly away from the office. Your phone rings. You look down. It's work. You pick up, and sometimes, you end up heading back to the office to pick up some pieces for someone." Social Worker