As a result, caregivers and first responders may exhibit the signs and symptoms of stress diseases such as Compassion Fatigue, Burnout, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Critical Incident Stress and differing forms of self medication such as alcohol, drugs, marital infidelity, gambling and workaholism. In Toxic Emotions in the Workplace, Peter J. Frost describes the secular business world climate: Whether organizations and their leaders are aware of the fact or not, they rely on toxin handlers to deal with the pain that results, almost as a matter of course, from doing business every day.
These toxin handlers can and do work in many different levels of the organization, offering compassion and practical help to troubled employees. Frost uses a sponge as a metaphor for a “toxin handler” because sponges absorb liquids into porous, empty, minute chambers. When the liquid has been absorbed, the sponge becomes a transportation medium to a disposal site.
Failure to remove the accumulated materials in the sponge means it remains in a saturated state and becomes useless for further absorption. If not cleaned, it may decay.
I believe all caregivers and first responders are toxin handlers and must observe a maintenance protocol for their lives or risk saturation and decay.