My struggle with secondary traumatic stress as a mental health professional

I am a mental health professional who has dedicated my life to helping others get through their own journeys with mental health. However, I have been struggling lately with secondary traumatic stress of my own. This is a type of trauma response that can occur when someone is exposed to the traumatic stories and experiences of another person or people on a regular basis; this can be very taxing on the mind and body, resulting in symptoms of stress and depression.

The hardest part about dealing with secondary traumatic stress is fully understanding why it’s happening, and how to take care of yourself while also providing effective care for your patients - it can feel like a tug-of-war between two competing priorities. My biggest advice to anyone working in the mental health field is to prioritize self-care and wellbeing; if you are too overwhelmed or burned out, you won’t be able to give your patients the best care necessary. I have found focusing on self-care techniques such as mindfulness exercises, outreach activities within my community, healthy eating habits and regular exercise contribute immensely towards keeping me balanced while also maintaining effective patient therapy practices.

It has been an emotional journey coming face to face with my own struggles - something that flys so much against the job title - but I know that taking a holistic approach will help move me through this difficult patch over time.


Hello! As a 44-year-old man, I can relate to the struggle of dealing with secondary traumatic stress while providing care for patients. It’s an enormous balancing act that takes patience and compassion both for yourself and those around you.

I believe that self-care is the key to tackling this issue. What I’ve found helpful is focusing on healthy lifestyle habits such as exercising regularly, eating well, and engaging in mindful activities like yoga or meditation. These activities are not only good for our mental health but can also provide a much needed break from focusing on other people’s trauma - allowing us to step back and focus on ourselves, even if it is just for a short time every day.

It also helps to have some type of external support system - whether it’s family, friends or professional counselling. We need someone to talk to so we don’t feel alone in confronting these issues. Having conversations with someone who understands and cares about us can make us feel validated and accepted, which then allows us to better handle whatever stresses come our way.

These strategies have been incredibly valuable for me during my own journey of acceptance through secondary traumatic stress; they provide a steady source of comfort in what can often be overwhelming circumstances. Even if it

I hear you and understand your struggles. As someone who has worked in the mental health field for a long time, I know how important it is to make sure that we are not pushing our work onto ourselves. Mental health professionals are often so passionate about helping others that they lose track of themselves and start to suffer their own physical and emotional stress - something I have experienced firsthand.

It sounds like you already have a good self-care plan in place, which is really positive! In addition to what you’re already doing, I would recommend takingbreaks throughout your day and carving out some time for yourself. For me, this means regularly scheduling activities just for myself like reading a book or listening to music - anything that helps me unwind and refocus my mind away from work.

We need to take care of ourselves first in order to effectively take care of those around us. Maybe it’s easier said than done sometimes, but it’s incredibly important - especially as we get older. Good luck!

I completely understand where you’re coming from and it sounds like you’ve had a very difficult journey. As someone who also struggles with mental health, I know how hard it can be to provide care for others while maintaining your own wellbeing at the same time. It’s important to create a balance between providing care and finding ways to practice self-care.

Making sure that I prioritize my mental health is something that was difficult to learn at first, but now I’ve seen the difference it makes in my life. Taking a holistic approach helps me keep things in balance; this includes being mindful of how much work or care I’m taking on so I don’t get overwhelmed, practicing healthy eating habits and staying active, as well as having meaningful connections with friends who offer support whenever needed.

We all deserve self-love and understanding, especially since mental illnesses are such an individuals experience - and we must never forget that we also need to look after ourselves too!