Professionally trained personnel are essential to mental health and addiction recovery. The betterment of each afflicted individual depends directly on the expertise of these compassionate experts. Keeping these people integrated and recovered as a part of society has its own rewards, not least of which is overall success in life. However, one cannot deny that the professionals themselves are, in fact, human. Nobody is a computer. That is, each professional possesses all of the same emotions that they are trying their hardest to help everyone else process.
Most therapists, licensed social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists begin their journey through an innate and unyielding sense of humanity. These people typically have a desire to help others that, in itself, is its own reward. Empathetic to a fault, each wholeheartedly yearns for the days when they simply work themselves out of a job. It’s exciting to consider a day when people no longer need therapy and psychiatry. However, these experts are still people with the same emotions as everyone else. Professionals are well aware of the trials ahead that their choices will bring. With a determination to make positive changes, they proudly put themselves right in the middle of it all and risk their own mental collapse. Wait, what?
Their Own Emotions
That’s the problem with unchecked empathy. Allowed to run rampant, psychiatric professionals take on each and every issue that their patients are suffering from. They make personal connections to people in need and do their best to bring them out of a bad situation. They are continually putting others’ needs first and creating a web of stresses, emotions, and problems. Then, they further compound it all with their own lives, pasts, and tribulations. Arming their patients with techniques to get them through their tough times, therapists quietly internalize all of the pain of failure and the recovery process. Subsequently, they get to experience the delight that comes with success. Emotions on their own are more than enough to exhaust most people, let alone adding others’ feelings on top of that. Empathy is a noble, but double-edged sword.
Guilt as a Rite of Passage
Guilt is one of the trials of a career in mental health. Most professionals are familiar with the nagging question: “Could I have done more?” With failure, you may begin to ask questions and doubt yourself and your methods. Each time a person relapses or backslides, that empathy strikes out again, creating a sadness that is extraordinarily hard to process the first time, let alone the tenth. After all, these professionals are just people.
Cursed with Knowledge
It all leads to one kind of pain – the curse of knowledge. Not to sound too much like Thanos here, but there really is a curse to knowing too much, and there is truth behind the phrase “ignorance is bliss.” Social workers and therapists don’t get that luxury, however. Instead, they choose the complete opposite route for themselves. They have chosen a life of getting into others’ business, internalizing it, and creating unique treatment plans based on the information. As time goes on, they mold and adapt the strategy as more information comes to light. There is little time to distance one’s self from a patient. “Could I have done more?” is a question with dangerous implications, regardless of who you are.
Use Your Own Answers
How do you help someone who suffers from this? Well, that’s just it – they are professionals. People of all professions are really great at ignoring their own advice. Basic concepts like “self-care” seem to go overlooked from those who really may need it most of all. The tools are there, but it’s a matter of being able to step back and simply experience your own emotions. Empathy is a great way to connect with someone. Unchecked, however, it can become an overwhelming psychic force, blocking you off from your goals in life. Find guidance from your peers, who know the tribulations of the trade. Enjoy the quiet understanding that comes from taking a step back. Avoiding work talk is some of the purest self-care that you can do. Take that time. Professionals are allowed to be people.
There are many stresses to being a professional in the field of mental health care and addiction recovery. Often, these professionals need the most help and don’t seek it. They feel as though they, for some reason, are not allowed to ask for help, given their profession. Professionals are people. Alta Centers provide an individualized sense of care for those looking to take the first step in recovery. Whether you’re a professional or not, personalized detox and guidance services are available today. Contact Alta Centers at 1-888-202-2583 to schedule an appointment, or to glean more information about their provided programs.