A few months back I was feeling overloaded and exhausted and cranky and more -- just as several crisis needs were coming up with various outreach situation in which I volunteer my time as a peer-to-peer support person. In passing, I mentioned to another care-giver that I was really struggling to be resourceful, supportive, and offer creative alternatives to these crisis situations. When she asked why I was struggling, I told her I felt it was because I was downright exhausted. She then asked if I had ever heard of "secondary PTSD" -- I had not. She basically said it was the same as PTSD, but the effects were coming from a secondary source of exposure to trauma. In the past I had heard the term, "compassion fatigue" or "caregiver meltdown" -- and what she was saying about "secondary PTSD" sounded an awful lot like that!
So I began searching the Net for information. Wanted to get some ideas of what "secondary PTSD" might look like, what suggestions there were for self-care if experience this. What I found was an amazing array of resources and information. Rather than try to re-create the wheel, I thought I would just share with all of you, the links I found. What follows is my Net trail of searching:
While most of these are more geared toward the "professional" care-giver, I believe that if you sort thru the "academic" language some of them use, you'll find valuable information for care-givers of all kinds and sorts, including the most valuable peer-to-peer kind who tend to be volunteers on top of it all, who are on a mission of the heart. Take what you can, want, need from these and feel free to go on and do more of your own searching, too. And as always, if you have other resources to add to our list here, send email to email@example.com - we're always so glad to hear from readers and post follow up articles to this kind of piece!