Part 2: Symptoms of Burnout
Physical symptoms of burnout
Almost any physical symptom may indicate burnout since, when the body loses the ability to self-regulate, the first signs manifest at its weakest point. This varies greatly from person to person. If someone is prone to developing allergies, burnout might show up as eczema or hay fever at first. Most frequently, however, the initial symptoms of burnout include:
- Sleep disorders
- Head and back pain
- Weakened immune system
- Hay fever
Psychological symptoms of burnout
- Increased irritability
- An inner feeling of emptiness
- A feeling of futility
- Loss of pleasure (lust for life, work, family, sex)
Behavioral traits of Burnout
Behavioral changes often result from psychological rather than physical symptoms. Constant disappointments promote failure and fear of loss. The toll this takes on us shows up as:
- Lack of concentration
- Lack of ability to make decisions
- Loss of performance
- Tendencies toward social withdrawal
- Increased coffee and alcohol consumption
- Spending less time engaging in enjoyable or relaxing activities
Burnout may be a major cause of depression
Depression is the most common result of burnout. According to modern medicine, burnout occurs when someone has been engaged with something for too long, too exclusively, and too intensely, without paying attention to other areas of life and without taking the time to rest and relax. Inevitably, by doing this, a person experiences an increasing level of stress, which accumulates over time. Thus, many doctors see burnout as the result of poor stress management.
If people are driven by fears, deadlines and meetings and constantly forced to confront obstacles and unpleasant events, they burn out from the cumulative tension that these factors cause. When this cumulative stress makes someone feel that he/she can’t or probably won’t achieve his/her goals, depression manifests itself in the form of anxiety, hopelessness, despair, and a lack of pleasure in life. In turn, these feelings make things worse: if you are depressed, you behave and interact with people differently, thereby causing others to treat you differently as well. This can become a vicious cycle.
What is the connection between stress and burnout?
Stress is the only widely accepted source for burnout, but there are indications that this is only part of the truth. Burnout can also be caused by a high level of electrosmog pollution.