The Cost of Caring

Empaths are natural caregivers. They are in tune with others and can often anticipate needs. Empaths go beyond understanding what someone is feeling to feeling the other person’s feelings with them.

These intensely compassionate and gifted people often find themselves in supporting roles regardless of their profession; although, a significant number of those in caregiving professions are empaths. They provide emotional support and meet physical needs without reservation.

Redescent to ask for help, the needs of caregivers often go unaddressed and unmet. They give so freely and generously to others that, often, the recipients of their empathy do not understand what it costs the empath.

In addition to their own stress and trauma, empathic caregivers also suffer vicarious traumas as they empathize with others (Lawson & Vernart, 2005), creating an “accumulation of pain” (Hunter, 2016). When they neglect self-care, they can also develop secondhand depression (Hunter, 2016).

The cost of caring is high. How can the empath continue to love and support others without becoming a casualty in another’s trauma? Educate yourself on compassion fatigue - what to look out for and practice self-awareness, self-care, and shore-up your support systems.

  • Compassion Fatigue

o “Compassion fatigue is a broadly defined concept that can include emotional,

physical, and spiritual distress in those providing care to another. It is associated

with caregiving where people or animals are experiencing significant emotional or

physical pain and suffering” (