College campuses see 'compassion fatigue' in wake of recent mass shootings

In the midst of recent mass shootings, the refugee crisis, local or global epidemics, traumatic events are causing compassion fatigue, which triggers people to become anxious or depressed, according to NPR.

Charles Figley, PhD, psychologist and director of New Orleans-based Tulane University Traumatology Institute, indicated compassion fatigue is a natural response for the body.

"We, of course, think about ourselves being in such a place, in which someone would suddenly burst in and shoot things up," Dr. Figley told NPR. "But if we think about that too much, then it deteriorates our sense of confidence and our sense of trust and our sense of safety."

Multiple studies have illustrated that physician, nurses, case workers and counselors experience compassion fatigue from having to frequently address tragedy, which can lead to secondary trauma.

"Human service providers are wanting to help — that's one of the reasons why we go into the field — but we recognize we can only do so much," Dr. Figley told NPR. "If they're not able to process that, then they gradually begin to shut down in order to protect themselves."

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