I Have No More Compassion To Give

compassion fatigue

The pandemic, George Floyd’s public murder, our country trying to control the reproductive rights of women, constant mass shootings that our legislators are turning a blind eye to, a woman walking into a Chili’s restaurant and murdering another woman, over 20 years of exposure to violence and suffering as a criminal defense attorney. All of this negativity has taken a toll on me and forced me into a state of public hypervigilance and mental numbness. I even fear that my compassion levels have been greatly diminished. 

Is there anyone out there that can relate? Well, it might be that we are suffering from compassion fatigue. 


What is compassion fatigue

In the Merriam Webster Dictionary, compassion fatigue is defined as

apathy or indifference toward the suffering of others as the result of overexposure to tragic news stories and images and the subsequent appeals for assistance

According to the chief of psychology for the University of Vermont Health Network, compassion fatigue is

a biological and physiological response where you are so exhausted—physically, emotionally, psychologically—that you no longer have the personal reserve to feel for other people.

What are the symptoms of compassion fatigue

According to a Banner Health article I recently read, some of the symptoms of compassion fatigue are:

  • Feeling exhausted physically and psychologically
  • Feeling helpless, hopeless or powerless
  • Feeling irritable, angry, sad, or numb
  • A sense of being detached or having decreased pleasure in activities
  • Ruminating about the suffering of others and feeling anger towards the events or people causing the suffering
  • Blaming yourself and having thoughts of not having done enough to help the people who are suffering
  • A decreased sense of personal and professional accomplishment
  • A change in your worldview or spirituality
  • Physical symptoms including sleep and appetite disturbances, nausea, and dizziness
compassion fatigue

What you can do to avoid compassion fatigue

  • Talk to a mental health professional.
  • Practice self-care
    • exercise regularly
    • eat healthy
    • get enough sleep
    • interact with other humans
    • do whatever brings you joy! I binge watch HGTV or escape from reality with a good book :-).
  • Do your very best to take time off from your professional life so that you can replenish and rejuvenate.
  • Avoid information overload. I rarely watch the news anymore because I realized it was making me feel worse.
  • Practicing gratitude and being in the present moment.
  • Understanding that suffering and pain is part of our experience as humans and sometimes there is absolutely nothing you can do to avoid suffering and pain.

Whatever you do, do not ignore it!

Much Love,


Published by Tonza D. Ruffin

Perfectly Imperfect but VERY PROUD WOMAN, MOM, LAWYER, and AUTHOR, but most importantly...LIFE LOVER! I laugh loud, I work hard, I play hard, I am adventurous, I am curious, I am driven, I have moments of deep insecurity, I am loving, I am vulnerable, I am explosive (not one of my finer qualities), I dance around my house alone, I am an awful perfectionist which makes my insecurity worse, I sing out loud in my car without any concern for whose watching, I have trust issues, I do not live through my children, I no longer try to force my children into the mold that I created so that I could feel validated as a mother, I am a risk-taker, I am guarded in my personal life, I am kind, I am grateful. I am so excited about the rest of my life!

2 thoughts on “I Have No More Compassion To Give

  1. WE CAN NEVER become NUMB, with all these Violent situations, in which we become Non-compassionate…. Never tired of Prayers and Blessings BUT need we Policy and Change…… Do you HEAR ME!

  2. You shared some outstanding points of views on motherhood and compassion fatigue. Your personal insight was noteworthy, and I believe it resonated with many mothers as well as fathers to include those considering being parents.

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