8MM+ watched Meditation won’t fix Burnout, its about Moral Injury

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By Mo Edjlali
 
From Dr. Zubin Damania's Viral Video:
 

Burnout is a kind of victim shaming…
Maybe you should meditate… it’s all bulls@#t…
We’re not suffering from burnout…
We’re surfing from “Moral injury”…

When I watched this video it left me excited and defensive.  Wait a minute… our organization encourages meditation into the workplace.   We talk about resilience, promote wellness, and try to help people and organizations with burnout… what does this mean?  Feels like he is trashing the work we promote while making some good points.  

Over 8 Million people watched this video, it’s going viral.  What Dr. Z is saying here I think relates to more than just health care profession and we all need to tune in.  

 

What is Moral Injury? Below is a good short description. 
 

“The mechanism of Moral Injury is the transgression of deeply held beliefs or expectations perpetrated by an authority. Because humans depend for survival on membership, in and validation by family and tribe, the cognitive dissonance between reality and the perception of what should be, can be extremely deleterious. “ Source: https://participatorymedicine.org/2016/healing-moral-injury-in-health-care/

 
Does this apply to more than veterans and healthcare professionals?  How do we react?  On this topic, I think there is much more to come. 

5 comments

Love this video and it does go well beyond health care.  It transcends into all business and organizations that continue to focus on the bottom line without the taking into consideration of the actions being put into place that impact those that have to implement or align with those actions.  Continuously asking more from those on the front lines and putting into place small rewards, wellness programs that no one can use because they are working with less, and promises that it's their people come first yet have a model that does not emulate those promises is a major gap that senior leaders need to take responsibility for and change.  

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Well said....if we can't change the work situation,  we need as a group to recognize it. Instead of bullying, projecting frustrations on others, it needs to start with self care... acquire tools to be less reactive. That doesn't mean to minimize, but to not become entrenched and resentful. Moral injury is s narrative that offers hope and healing...burnout has a sense of despair, finality.....we just watch and predict who will be the next "broken" person...it is a sad culture... speaking up often labels as hostile employee. While your team agrees behind, but gossips in your absence.... At my age I chose not to play into that mentality. My hope is that this narrative causes us to consider one another... take that energy and find the gratitude...encourage and esteem in truth. Show appreciation. "Be kinder than necessary as everyone is fighting some kind of battle." Read again the "4 Agreements"...and refresh your serenity prayer mantra...leave work at work... and be brave to plan your exit strategy. Let people have their stuff. Have healthy boundaries. Breathe! Pray for your enemy which may be the situation.....Bless them that curse you and keep it moving...you can't reason with someone who is unreasonable... donnajoy0224@gmail.com

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Mo, I had the same initial reaction as you, as I watched the first part of this video. This isn't about whether meditation works or not to help people through tough times (I always maintain that it can help most people, but not everyone).  This is a unique message that shines a light on what happens to a 'good person in a bad system, when they feel they can't change the system'. I also think that when we make decisions on what to do with our lives, if we understand our values, we need to find opportunities that match our values.  Thanks for sharing this out, I will share too.

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Dr. Felicia Wilson Young Jul 26, 2019 02:52pm

This is right on target! This is reflective of what happens at our agency and what I have personally experienced. Moral Injury is a direct affront to the human condition and the vulnerability we may experience in the day-to-day implementation of our work.

Let's change the system that causes the injury and not continue to perpetuate the conflict.

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Yes, great insights...also, we use the term "caregiver burnout. .. that exemplifies..we don't thrive in isolation, and long term, dries up the bones...hope deferred makes a heart sick..."biblical proverb"

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