I recently came across a term I hadn't heard before, "crisis fatigue" Crisis fatigue occurs when our ability to be resilient (or "bounce back") is flooded with an ongoing series of intense, energy-consuming or traumatic experiences. As best as I can tell, it's a form of burnout. Crisis fatigue, like burnout, is a response to ongoing and intense stress, like that faced by people trying to survive war or armed conflict, economic or financially stressful conditions, political instability, natural disasters, or - yes - a pandemic. Based on what I'm hearing from my colleagues and patients, many of us are facing crisis fatigue.
Photo Credit: Nataliya Vaitkevich, from: https://www.pexels.com/photo/matchsticks-on-pink-surface-6837623/
So, after you take action, how will you know it's working? The most obvious answer, of course, "I did what I set out to do." Chances are, though, that you'll want to keep track of your progress, and when you reach your goal, want to know what worked to help you achieve it. If you were unable to reach it, figuring out what got in the way can help you when you begin planning again. So, evaluation of both progress and the process are pretty important, and can help you celebrate successes, sharpen your strategies, plan for predictable obstacles, and debrief after your hard work.
WHAT: What do you want to do?
So, how do we create strategies?
I thought for a while about whether or not I wanted to write about this, because there are so many armchair psychologists who are ready to explain and point fingers in regard to Robin Williams' suicide. Today, however, after hearing some of my clients' reactions and after hearing some of the things said in the media about it, I feel that I have something to say that might be helpful.
Mr. Williams' struggles with depression and addiction are well-known, and it's very easy to point fingers and say, "that was what did it." I've heard variations on that theme all day, most of them said with the attitude that nothing could help it. One radio host even went as far as to say, "He was beyond help. He was too far gone."
I nearly had to pull my car off the road after hearing that, because I was so angry. I work all day with people who struggle with those feelings and with the pain and hopelessness that goes along with them. To hear a DJ blithely blame the victim was nearly too much for me. NO ONE IS "BEYOND HELP;" AND NO ONE IS "TOO FAR GONE." I can't emphasize that enough.
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