November 23, 2009
Secondary Stress Disorder and ASP
There has been considerable attention on secondary stress disorder (SSD) in the past few weeks as a result of the horrible, tragic events at Fort Hood. SSD is common in caregivers who work with people who have survived traumatic events. Care givers can take on the stress of the people they are caring for, and sometimes suffering PTSD as seriously as the people that are trying to help.
SSD relates to ASP in two ways. As ASPer’s, some of us work with students who have experienced considerable pain and suffering in their lives, enough tragedy to interfere with their learning and bring them ASP. SSD also effects our students who are care givers, who may not have suffered the tragedy themselves, but are spouses or widow(er)s of service men and women, or are caregivers to sick parents or children.
In both cases, we need to recognize that SSD is real, and it does make an impact on learning and working. SSD is not recognized among the general population, and it is particularly pernicious when those around people with SSD don’t understand or don’t believe that it is a real issue. Not everyone is effected to the same degree, but ASPer’s who spend their days one-on-one counseling students can’t help but absorb some of the stress that surrounds them. (RCF)
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