We’re all tired.
Many Americans are downright exhausted. More than half of the respondents in one survey (55%) said no amount of rest helps them feel focused. But trouble concentrating is only one side effect of fatigue, and not all fatigue is created equal.
“It’s important to remember that
fatigue isn’t always associated with lack of sleep,”
said Vides Apresto, PMHNP at bonmente.
“There are three different types that often go unspoken, though they are just as debilitating.”
Helper fatigue is when you pour your energy and effort into helping others at the expense of your well-being. It’s when you’re always the one picking up the slack, offering a shoulder to cry on, or lending a listening ear. Other natural helpers include those who regularly volunteer or help out friends and family in need.
While helping others can be an enriching experience, doing so at the expense of your own needs is not sustainable in the long run. It can lead to one feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and even resentful. By taking care of themselves, helpers can ensure they have the energy and resources needed to continue supporting others.
One way to prevent helper fatigue is to set boundaries and say no to requests that put your needs on the back burner.
If you’re suffering from helper fatigue and feeling drained, don’t be afraid to put yourself first for once. Your loved ones will understand.
While everyone experiences anxiety differently, those who suffer from anxiety fatigue often find that stressful situations exacerbate their symptoms. As a result, it can become difficult to manage day-to-day tasks, and even simple tasks can feel insurmountable.
For many people, anxiety fatigue is a chronic condition that requires ongoing management and treatment through therapy and relaxation techniques. If you’re struggling with anxiety fatigue, consider consulting a therapist who can work with you to identify your anxiety’s root cause and develop a treatment plan to help you regain control of your life.
As the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, empathy is a key part of emotional intelligence that helps us build strong relationships.
However, empathy can also lead to mental or emotional fatigue from caring for those experiencing difficult life circumstances. Often described as feeling “drained” or “burnt out,” empathy fatigue can manifest as physical exhaustion, anxiety, depression, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.
Empathy fatigue can happen to anyone constantly exposed to the pain and suffering of others, such as healthcare workers, first responders, social workers, or even friends and family members.
Empathy fatigue can also result from indirect exposure to traumatic events such as natural disasters or mass shootings by watching or hearing about them. Those who struggle to find a balance between observing the news and absorbing it are typically more at risk of becoming overwhelmed by the difficult life events of others. For this reason, empathy fatigue has become a major concern through our nation’s COVID-19 pandemic.
Empathy is a powerful emotion, so knowing your limits is important. The good news is there are steps to take to overcome empathy fatigue. These can include establishing boundaries, practicing self-care, seeking professional help, and staying connected to supportive people in your life.
Let's Fight Fatigue Together
While not all types of fatigue are created equal, they matter just the same. Though each is unique, these three fatigue types all share one common theme: a state of being overwhelmed and stressed. By understanding these different types of fatigue and what causes them, you can take steps to prevent them from taking over your life.
If you or someone you love is looking for a psychiatrist in , don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We can help you overcome fatigue by finding a customized treatment plan for renewal.