Vicarious Trauma

Very interesting article on vicarious and secondary trauma on Mental Health Today.

Constant news stream, friends and loved ones sharing stories, videos and updates on their social media, can take its toll.

The BMA website defines and lists symptoms as some common signs of vicarious trauma:

Vicarious trauma is a process of change resulting from empathetic engagement with trauma survivors.

Anyone who engages empathetically with survivors of traumatic incidents, torture, and material relating to their trauma, is potentially affected, including doctors and other health professionals.

  • ‘lingering feelings of anger, rage and sadness about patient’
  • ‘becoming overly involved emotionally’ 
  • ‘bystander guilt, shame, feelings of self-doubt’
  • ‘preoccupied with thoughts’
  • ‘overidentification’
  • ‘loss of hope, pessimism, cynicism’

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