Occupational burnout syndrome, like other disorders, comes uninvited. It is attracted to people who are determined to spend all their energy for the good of others, idealists who have high demands and equally high expectations. Even those who just want to do a good job, but have not yet learned to ask for help. Burnout is then synonymous with the loss of balance that has disappeared from our lives in the name of what we still have to do. If we are talking about you too, put your duties aside for a moment and become a priority for yourself.
Occupational burnout syndrome is a condition that is insidious in its gradual onset, similar to chronic stress. One experiences it as an unpleasant feeling of exhaustion, which can gradually become physical. It usually takes place in several stages. From the feeling that I have to do my best to get the job done on time and well, to states of anxiety when I realize that my expectations are not realistic and the work done is not even adequately rewarded – Eventually states of irritability, feelings of disappointment and loss of the meaning of it all can develop
The first symptoms can be inconspicuous – fatigue, occasional difficulty falling asleep, and occasionally saying that you really don’t want to go to work tomorrow. If you are sensitive to yourself, you may already be changing something in your life right now. Because the next phase of burnout is accompanied by changes in mood, decreased performance and concentration, depression and anxiety, problems in relationships and decreased self-confidence.
There are also tests for burnout. You can test yourself using self-administered questionnaires, which are available on the Internet. Their evaluation is simple, but the result is only indicative. A professional psychological diagnosis requires an interview, anamnesis and other complex tests.
Burnout syndrome is most often associated with helping professions (doctors and health professionals), professions with a high level of stress and responsibility (managers) or thiose that include a lot of working with people (teachers). In reality, however, it turns out that the impact of the burnout syndrome is much more broad. For example, women on parental leave or people who simply have too high expectations of themselves. It is precisely the unfulfilled expectations that lead to the loss of illusions, loss of motivation and in the long run help to develop the syndrome.
Effective prevention involves focusing on your relationship to work (study, life, relationships). Realize your expectations and set them in a realistic way. This will also reduce the risk of investing too much energy in work and working beyond our means. It will also help to pursue one’s own interests, including social life. This gives our lives another dimension and we avoid the exhaustion that often occurs when we are focused on one thing for a long time. Even in this phase of prevention, a consultation with a psychotherapist or coach is a good choice. This is not a classic treatment, but a so-called self-development.
If you are already dealing with the consequences of burnout, do not face it alone. The possibilities of psychological counseling and psychotherapy are now available to everyone. They will help you get out of the vicious circle of self-sabotage and exhaustion that has arisen.
Psychotherapy is the space for you. Our tendency to give our space to others often contributes to burnout syndrome. That is also why helping professions are so vulnerable in this sense. Give it your everything and maybe even hope that someone will appreciate it. Or to succumb to the feeling that it is only me, who can best decide, do, and finish. Psychotherapy can address our subconscious patterns of thinking, so that we can assess for ourselves whether it is appropriate to keep them or if we should establish a new order.
“I stopped enjoying my work, I was irritated and exhausted, I didn’t want to go there.My family was taking the brunt of it and it was them who arranged therapy for me. I found that I was experiencing burnout syndrome. Thanks to the therapist, I realized what was most exhausting about my current job and found enough courage to ask my superior for a change. I switched from work in the emergency room to the prolonged care department, where there is more peace and I still feel useful. Feelings of exhaustion and irritability disappeared. I have a new appetite for work and for hobbies in my free time. If I knew how a little change was enough to improve my life, I would have done it a long time ago. “