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Signs and symptoms of burnout: and what treatment works

Feeling exhausted, detached, and ineffective at work?

You might be experiencing burnout.

stressed man with burnout

Recognised by the World Health Organization as an occupational phenomenon, burnout is more than just stress. It's a state of chronic physical and emotional exhaustion, often accompanied by feelings of cynicism and detachment from work.

In this article, we'll delve into the signs and symptoms of burnout. We'll also explore effective strategies for managing and overcoming this condition.

Whether you're a professional, caregiver, student, or someone interested in mental health and wellness, this guide will provide valuable insights.

Remember, understanding burnout is the first step towards recovery. Let's get started.

Understanding burnout: more than just stress

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion. It's caused by prolonged and excessive stress, particularly from the workplace.

Unlike everyday stress, burnout is characterised by disengagement. It's a feeling of being drained, unable to meet constant demands, and a sense of reduced accomplishment. Recognising the difference between stress and burnout is crucial for early identification and treatment.

Recognising the signs of burnout

Burnout doesn't happen overnight. It's a gradual process that builds up over time, often unnoticed until it's too late. The first step towards addressing burnout is recognising its signs and symptoms.

The symptoms of burnout can be categorised into emotional, psychological, physical, and behavioural. They vary from person to person, but there are common signs that can help identify burnout; including:

  • Feeling drained and unable to cope

  • Lack of motivation and decreased interest in work

  • Difficulty concentrating and decreased productivity

Emotional and psychological symptoms of burnout

Emotional exhaustion is one of the key symptoms of burnout. It's a feeling of being emotionally drained, overwhelmed, and unable to meet constant demands.

Depersonalisation is another common symptom. It's a feeling of detachment and cynicism towards your job, colleagues, or clients.

Reduced personal accomplishment, a feeling of incompetence and a lack of achievement is also a common sign of burnout.

Physical and behavioural symptoms

Burnout also manifests physically. Common physical symptoms include frequent headaches, muscle pain, and changes in appetite or sleep habits.

Behavioural symptoms of burnout include withdrawing from responsibilities, isolating from others, and procrastinating.

Increased use of food, drugs, or alcohol to cope can also be a sign of burnout.

The effects of burnout on your health and wellbeing

Burnout doesn't just affect your work life, it can also have serious consequences on your physical and mental health. Chronic stress can lead to a variety of health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system.

On the mental health front, burnout can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. It can also affect your relationships, sleep patterns, and overall quality of life. It's important to take burnout seriously and seek help if you're experiencing these symptoms.

Self-assessment burnout test: Do you have burnout?

Recognising burnout in oneself can be challenging. Often, we're so caught up in the cycle of stress and exhaustion that we fail to see the signs.

If you think you may have burnout, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you feel drained and devoid of energy?

  • Are you finding it hard to concentrate?

  • Do you feel detached from your job or your studies?

  • Are you experiencing physical symptoms like headaches or stomachaches?

  • Do you feel disillusioned about your work or your role?

If you answered 'yes' to most of these questions, it might be time to consider seeking professional help.

Schoen Clinic Chelsea is a private outpatient clinic in London that supports individuals with burnout, with many experts who specialise in the assessment and treatment of burnout. If you need professional help with your burnout symptoms, don't hesitate to get in touch with our team today.

Burnout treatment: strategies that help

Treating burnout involves a multi-faceted approach. It's not just about reducing stress, but also about addressing the underlying issues that led to burnout. This often involves making changes in both your personal and professional life.

Here are some strategies that can help:

  • Implementing lifestyle changes and self-care practices

  • Seeking professional support and therapy

  • Utilising local resources, such as burnout treatment programmes

Lifestyle changes and self-care

Self-care is a crucial part of burnout treatment. This involves taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental health. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep can all play a role in reducing the symptoms of burnout.

Here are some self-care practices to consider:

  • Regular physical activity

  • Balanced diet

  • Adequate sleep

  • Mindfulness and relaxation techniques

Professional support and therapy options

group therapy for burnout

Professional support can be invaluable in treating burnout. Once you've been assessed and diagnosed with burnout by a specialist Consultant, therapists and counsellors can provide strategies to manage stress and address the root causes of burnout. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is one approach that has been found to be effective.

Here are some therapy options to consider:

Burnout treatment in London: local resources

For those based in London, there are numerous resources available for burnout treatment. Many clinics and therapists specialise in stress management and burnout. It's worth researching local options and finding a provider that suits your needs.

At Schoen Clinic Chelsea, our London burnout specialists have extensive experience in supporting individuals with stress and burnout. Why not reach out to our team?

Preventing burnout: tips for maintaining balance

Preventing burnout is just as important as treating it. By maintaining a healthy work-life balance and managing stress effectively, you can reduce your risk of burnout.

Here are some tips for preventing burnout:

  • Set boundaries: Learn to say no and avoid overcommitting yourself.

  • Take regular breaks: This includes short breaks during the workday and longer breaks like vacations.

  • Build positive relationships: Social support from friends, family, and colleagues can help you manage stress.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure. By implementing these strategies, you can help protect your health and wellbeing.

Taking the next steps to overcome burnout

Recognising the signs of burnout and seeking help early is essential. Whether it's making lifestyle changes, or seeking professional support for burnout treatment in London, taking the next steps towards recovery is essential.

Remember, it's okay to ask for help and prioritise your wellbeing.

References and resources:

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