Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

The Caregiver Space - You’re “Should-ing” Yourself Again! Caregiving and Compassion Fatigue


Compassion fatigue.
Is this what it sounds like?

Almost. Compassion fatigue is a physical, emotional and spiritual exhaustion that leaves the caregiver depressed, apathetic, and resentful of his/her care patient.

But you’re not just tired. You are running on empty.

At its core, compassion fatigue makes you feel like giving up.

You might be experiencing compassion fatigue if:

You no longer feel the same tolerance you once did
You are irritable, short tempered, pessimistic and impatient
It becomes increasingly difficult to sympathize with your loved one
You’re feeling insecure and/or questioning your competence, effectiveness and productivity
You are socially withdrawn from others
Disturbing images are invading your thoughts and dreams
Isn’t that just how caregiving feels?

Caregiving is draining, time consuming, difficult and emotional. But it isn’t normal to feel like the support available is significantly outweighed by the demands of your role. And you can’t go on another day.


Good article.
Sometimes, you need to pull away–just a little bit.
Even now, my son will tell me to back off and let him do it. Or, " Mom-I work better alone." There are a lot of times that I feel like I am standing in the way too.


I am the WORST about the litany of shoulds! Shoulda, woulda, coulda. I make myself miserable with that crap, especially the shoulds. Somehow I should be able to work a full day, get all As on my homework, constantly support my daughter with the perfect balance of love and tough love, never get resentful of my TBI, PTSD recovering husband, always walk my dogs and go to the gym, keep my house spotless, have time for a social life and time for myself. I SHOULD do all these things all the time-totally unrealistic. But the worst part is I either get anxious trying to all that and do it perfectly-and then depression follows because it never ends and I’m never good enough at the end of the day. Then I start to ask myself, who is it that says I should do all these things and do them flawlessly? Who? No one has such insane expectations for me. Who is on this committee in my head that judges all this stuff? Then I realize what a load of garbage it all is. And I fire that committee. The problem is they keep showing up for work anyway.

Anyway, just venting. I can identify with what that article is saying.


Yes fire that committee. Everyday if needed. :smile:

I think we caregivers need to give ourselves the same compassion, sympathy and empathy that we give our loved ones. We don’t expect them to be perfect, in fact, the exact opposite because they are human. We are human too, far from perfect and we don’t need to be. We will make mistakes, get angry, cry and sometimes laugh… :purple_heart:


I’m brand new to this chat room… I so needed to read about compassionate fatigue. After many years of being a caretaker, I think sometimes I am going to crack. But, God never lets me get too far, He encourages and restores me by something like this web site.


Welcome to the site Jenny. I think you’ll find a lot of support here from others who have travelled this road.


Welcome to the forum @JennyCares. I’m glad you found us.


Thank you Barbie for your encouraging words.


Hi Jenny,

The thing you’ll hear again and again from experts in the field is that to be a good caregiver you have to first take care of yourself. If you run yourself down and don’t take care of your own needs first - then you won’t have anything to give to anyone else.

Here is some good readings on the topic:


Thank you sz admin for the info. I actually went away for the weekend to a retreat and came home feeling a lot better. The negative feelings and stress were gone. My daughter also said she felt better. She admitted to treating me poorly and not knowing why. I would say its far too many years of living together. Sometimes she is an adult and other times a preteen. I think I should go away every two months. Also it has been suggested that I put an RV in my large yard so she will have a place to go to get away.


thought i would say hi.
take care