Summary of “Is compassion fatigue inevitable in an age of 24-hour news?”

There’s a clinical name for what Apathetic Idealist and many of us are feeling: it’s called compassion fatigue.
Psychologist Charles Figley defines compassion fatigue as “a state of exhaustion and dysfunction, biologically, physiologically and emotionally, as a result of prolonged exposure to compassion stress”.
As historian Samuel Moyn recently put it: “Compassion fatigue is as old as compassion.” And the anxieties that come with our awareness of compassion fatigue go back just as far.
Not long after compassion fatigue emerged as a concept in healthcare, a similar concept began to appear in media studies – the idea that overexposure to horrific images, from news reports in particular, could cause viewers to shut down emotionally, rejecting information instead of responding to it.
“The troubles blur. Crises become one crisis.” The volume of bad news drives the public to “Collapse into a compassion fatigue stupor”.
There is no compassion fatigue without compassion: the caregivers at risk see somebody suffering, and they want to reduce that suffering.
Shouldn’t we fight compassion fatigue because we worry that paralysis and apathy will make the world worse? I don’t hope to increase my empathy for its own sake, especially by way of nearby tragedies.
For her part, believed fatigue was a reasonable response to a barrage of terrible images: “Someone who is perennially surprised that depravity exists, who continues to feel disillusioned when confronted with evidence of what humans are capable of inflicting in the way of gruesome, hands-on cruelties upon other humans, has not reached moral or psychological adulthood.” In this view, compassion fatigue is a coming of age.

The orginal article.