Know Stress

Know More About Burnout

The term 'burnout' often finds place in any discussion that pertains to stress. Burnout is used synonymously with depression and anxiety. However, it is less serious as compared to these psychological disorders. Also, it does not last for a long duration. The term was initially used by Herbert Freudenberger in the year 1974.

Freudenberger first used the term 'burnout' in his book "Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement". In the book, he defined burnout as, "the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one's devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results."

Like stress, there can be several causes of burnout too. However, the causes of this problem have been divided into three main categories.

* Job related factors- Extremely high targets, too much work pressure with no time for relaxation, little or no recognition, insufficient compensation and poor leadership are some of the factors at work that can lead to a burnout.
* Lifestyle causes- When you are overworking yourself and have little social support to ease your worries, a burnout is inevitable. Little time for relaxation is also an important cause of the problem.
* Psychological causes- Certain personality traits in an individual can also lead to a burnout. Some of these traits include an endless desire for perfection, pessimism, impatience and lack of belief.


So, how do you know that you are struggling with a burnout? There are several symptoms of the problem that can help you know if you are afflicted with a burnout or not.

* Weakness and fatigue- Prolonged stress can completely drain your energy leaving you physically exhausted. People suffering from a burnout usually suffer from weakness and fatigue.
* Emotional exhaustion- Your ability to deal with different situations is also reduced. As a result, you might end up being more angry, frustrated, sad, or irritated than the usual.
* Increased susceptibility to immune system- Burnout can take a toll on your immune system and make you more susceptible to various illnesses. People suffering from burnout often suffer from cold, flu, fever and the like.
* Withdrawal from relationships- Burnout can drain you both- physically as a well as mentally. Thus, you may not be left with any more strength to devote time and attention to your personal relationships.


Since a burnout is more of temporary nature, it usually goes on its own. However, knowing and eliminating the causes of the problem can help you deal with the problem at a faster pace. Alternatively, you can also try any of the numerous stress relief techniques to cope with a burnout.