Job or life-burnout can have dire consequences. Understand the signs and know when to take action. [This is an adapted version of the list created by psychologist Herbert Freudenberger and his colleague Gail North.The process below shows how someone, being stressed - moves toward burnout].
* A compulsion to prove oneself (commitment to win no matter what)
* Working harder (feeling irreplaceable they buckle down, raise personal expectations, and take on more and more responsibility)
* Neglecting their needs (eating, sleeping, playing are sacrificed for performance)
* Displacement of conflicts (something is wrong but I’m unsure what)
* Revision of values (friends, hobbies, and fun are dismissed)
* Denial of emerging problems (cynicism, anger, and despising of others for being stupid, lazy, demanding, and undisciplined)
* Withdrawal (socially withdrawn, loss of hope and direction, pursuit of sinful relief such as drugs, sex, or alcohol)
* Obvious behavior changes (shy, apathetic, depressed, haggard, cynical, aggressive)
* Depersonalization (lose contact with self, life becomes meaningless and mechanical)
* Inner emptiness (often overcompensation sexually, overeating, drug and alcohol abuse in place of leisure time)
* Depression (indifferent, hopeless, exhausted, life loses meaning and everything from agitation to apathy sets in)
* Burnout (suicidal thoughts and/or obsession with heaven, physical and mental collapse, need for medical help)
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How Vulnerable Are You To Stress?
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(This experience is not meant to replace a clinical assessment but to help you judge how you are doing currently, and for educational purposes. Do not diagnose on this bases, and seek medical/professional assistance if required.)
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What is burnout and how does it affect you?
Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest or motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place. Burnout reduces your productivity and saps your energy, leaving you feeling increasingly helpless, hopeless, cynical, and resentful. Eventually, you may feel like you have nothing more to give.
Burnout happens in stages and Psychologists Herbert Freudenberger and Gail North have theorized that the burnout process can be divided into 12 phases, which are not necessarily followed sequentially, nor necessarily in any sense be relevant or exist other than as an abstract construct.
- A compulsion to prove oneself
- Working harder
- Neglecting one’s own needs
- Displacement of conflicts (the person does not realize the root cause of the distress)
- Revision of values (friends or hobbies are completely dismissed)
- Denial of emerging problems (cynicism and aggression become apparent)
- Withdrawal (reducing social contacts to a minimum, becoming walled off; alcohol or other substance abuse may occur)
- Behavioral changes become obvious to others
- Depersonalization (life becomes a series of mechanical functions)
- Inner emptiness
- Burnout syndrome
Specific symptoms can be identified when you are showing signs of burnout. These include: Physical, Psychological and behavioural symptoms.
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Could you think alternatively about your stress?
- What is the evidence?
- What alternative thoughts are there?
- What is the effect of thinking the way I do?
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