It comes on suddenly: a burst of irritability and depression. You lose your sense of humor and ability to concentrate. You feel emotionally empty–like you’ve hit a brick wall. And sometimes, you’re angry and frustrated by all the things and people in your life, including the loved ones who need you most.
Know that you’re not alone. There are 65 million Americans who take on the role of caregiving. They spend about 20 hours each week tending to the needs of another in addition to balancing their everyday lives. After months—or even years—of absorbing a loved one’s pain, the added stress of the holidays can cause the sudden onset of a little-known condition called Compassion Fatigue.