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Disasters' Psychiatrists: Behind-Scenes Victims


Disasters' Psychiatrists: Behind-Scenes Victims

(ePharmaNews) - The term “compassion fatigue” was introduced in the fifties of the last century, in order to describe the state of mental fatigue, despair and frustration that had been noticed in the nurses and doctors who dealt with serious accidents' victims. In the nineties, the term of this case became “secondary traumatic stress disorder “. Today, a recent study found that this situation is more widespread than previously thought.

In this study, published in Clinical Social Work Journal, Ms. Mary Pulido, from the American Association for Children Protection from Violence in New York, warned that doctors, nurses, psychologists and staff working with victims of disasters are suffering from this condition without receiving adequate support.


Dr. Pulido has conducted individual interviews with 26 of the specialist staff who dealt with victims of 9/11 in the United States, among them were psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers. She asked them about the impact of their work with those victims and the psychological support that was available for them to deal with the work pressure. Surprisingly, Dr. Pulido found that after 30 months of their work, there was a high level of psychological distress among these specialists, as they said that the support of relevant organizations have been less than desired, while their colleagues' support gave them a lot of help.

Specialists said they were not only exposed to the stressors and psychic pains experienced by their clients, but they carried the professional burden of being expected to remain open and available to their clients on an emotional level.
Dr. Pulido concludes: "For many professionals, these interviews, conducted several years after the attacks, served as the first time they had discussed their 9/11 work and the stresses they encountered. This factor alone speaks volumes for the lack of support that they received while providing such intense clinical support for their clients. These findings need to be integrated into training and practice."


The results are particularly important to audiences in the Middle East following the beginning of the "Arab Spring", which put a burden on the mental health specialist staff to support the conflicts' victims. So, it is expected for increased number of physicians there to suffer from a "compassion fatigue" in the coming period.


اضغط هنا للقراءة باللغة العربية

Prepared by: Laila Nour
Translated by: Marcell Shehwaro


Source :

ePharmaNews






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