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When stress becomes chronic and persists for weeks, months, or years, it can have harmful effects and lead to crisis fatigue. Getty Images
  • Current events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and political protests, have left people feeling many intense emotions, such as fear, anxiety, and anger.
  • Over time, unrelenting stress can leave people feeling emotionally numb or tired.
  • These feelings have been dubbed “crisis fatigue.”
  • Experts say there are steps you can take to help mitigate the effects.

All data and statistics are based on publicly available data at the time of publication. Some information may be out of date.

The year 2020 has so far been a difficult one for many.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a significant source of worry and stress for months now, with no end in sight.

体育投注网址On top of this, there have been protests, both peaceful and violent, as people strive to find justice in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

体育投注网址With the unrelenting stress of these events, many are feeling a wide range of negative emotions, such as sadness, anxiety, anger, and fear. Yet others have progressed to simply feeling numb or tired.

This emotional state is a condition that has been dubbed “crisis fatigue.”

, professor and chair, department of psychiatry, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, we go through four stages in response to a crisis.

First, there is the heroic phase. “Here, everybody gets together and there is a lot of action of people trying to respond by doing what needs to be done during the crisis,” said Levounis.

Next, there is the honeymoon phase, where people feel good about being a part of the community.

体育投注网址“Invariably after that is the disillusionment phase,” said Levounis, “which is where we’re entering now… and that is when we face crisis fatigue.”

This phase can last several months, he added, with people feeling very bad during this time until they begin to work on recovering and rebuilding after the crisis passes.

As to why crisis fatigue occurs, , PhD, professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said, “The fight-or-flight response, or short-term stress, is our friend.

体育投注网址“The biological stress response can protect us during challenging situations or crises.

体育投注网址“However, when stress becomes chronic and persists for weeks, months, or years, it can have harmful effects, and in particularly repetitive or severe conditions, could lead to crisis fatigue.”

体育投注网址Adding to this, Levounis further explained that people invest a lot of energy in the early phases, but the human body can’t sustain a high adrenaline state for a long time, making a crash inevitable.


体育投注网址Both Dhabhar and Levounis said it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional if these self-help measures aren’t enough.

If you’re experiencing symptoms like losing or gaining weight, not sleeping well, or just not functioning well in your daily life, these are all signs that you may need additional help, said Levounis.

体育投注网址Dhabhar added that it’s important to note that you may not need to see a mental health professional for a long period of time.

“In many cases, the right kind of guidance and direction for a short period of time could set you on the right track and enable you to avoid further problems,” he said.

体育投注网址Although we initially respond well to a crisis by producing more stress hormones to help us deal with it, we can’t go on like this for a long time. We will eventually experience what is known as “crisis fatigue.”

体育投注网址There are many steps we can take to mitigate crisis fatigue, such as taking care of our physical health and staying connected with friends and family.

体育投注网址However, if this doesn’t help, experts recommend that you talk with a mental health professional.