Is Burnout a real thing?

Absolutely it is.  People often begin to experience burnout, before they have identified what it is.  Burnout is a form of stress that is associated with our work environment. 

 

Left untreated, burnout can worsen, leading to depression, medical issues and increased use of drugs and alcohol.

Who is at risk of burnout?

Anyone in any profession may experience burnout.  However, there are some risk factors that make burnout more likely. 

  • Having a strong identification with your profession

  • Consistently having a high workload, especially one that involves overtime

  • Trying to be everything to everyone

  • Working in a helping profession, such as first responders and health care professionals like doctors, nurses, and mental health clinicians

What are some possible causes of burnout?

  • Lack of control over your job

  • Unclear job expectations

  • Dysfunctional workplaces

  • Extremes in activity in the workplace (goes from monotonous to chaotic)

  • Lack of social support

  • Work/Life imbalance

  • Poor boundaries

What are the symptoms of burnout?

  • Increased anger/irritability/cynicism at work

  • Lacking the energy needed to be productive

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Lack of satisfaction about your achievements

  • Changes to sleep patterns

  • Using alcohol and/or drugs to feel better… or just not feel

 

Treatment for burnout

You may or may not be sure you are experiencing burnout.  Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell the difference between general stress, burnout and depression

 

Once we have identified it is burnout, we will work collaboratively to begin to make improvements.  This usually involves cognitive-behavioral therapy, as well as other techniques for relaxation and improving work/life balance.  Developing or improving boundaries between self and work are critical in self-care and lessening the effects of burnout.

 

Many people begin to see improvements once they have identified it and begin actively working to address it.

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