Burnout - symptoms and treatment

Everyday life is well-organized from morning to evening and there's no work without a busy schedule ... Anyone who puts a lot of energy into their work and constantly demands maximum performance runs the risk of breaking the burnout syndrome. And not just managers are affected.
The American psychoanalyst Herbert Freudenberger first coined the term "burnout syndrome" in 1974. He had identified a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion from persistent and repeated stressors. Today, this generally refers to a sustained stress response to stress in the workplace. Almost a million Germans are said to be affected by this disease of total exhaustion.

Definition of burnout syndrome

Although the burnout syndrome is more common today, there is still no common definition. It describes the state of emotional exhaustion and reduced motivation. The course begins with the slow descent from a high willingness to perform in the inefficient daily work. The burnout syndrome is characterized primarily by:

  • Dejection,
  • inner restlessness and
  • Exhaustion.

Anyone who is constantly overburdened in their everyday professional life can fall into this state of exhaustion. Excessive expectations of oneself let the pressure grow to meet them.

Burnout: What are the causes?

The list of reasons for a burnout is long and varied: bullying, overtime, long-term stress, high pressure to perform, fear of job loss, crises in the family, but also organizational weaknesses are included. Other causes are unrealistic claims, excessive demands and too little or no recovery phases.

For example, perfectionists and people with helper syndrome have a harder time saying "no" and are rarely able to refuse overtime, and their self-claims are often so great that failure is almost inevitable.

Burnout: Which risk groups are particularly at risk?

Endangered people are usually highly motivated and hard-working. Everyone can suffer a burnout, the range extends from the doctor to the housewife. Most of those affected are under a heavy multiple burden and show a high level of commitment. These people often take on too many tasks and place unrealistically high demands on themselves and their environment. The constant overstrain, however, brings body and soul more and more out of balance.

Particularly vulnerable to burnout syndrome are not only managers, but also health professionals, as well as teachers, educators, police officers or housewives. In general, the risk increases:

  • Persons with multiple burdens
  • Strongly engaged persons
  • Extremely ambitious or performance-oriented people
  • People who can not easily divide their time
  • People can not hand over the work to others
  • People who ignore the warning signs of the body

Determine your burnout risk

  1. Do you feel completely exhausted for more than 6 months?
  2. Do you often lack the energy for the simplest tasks of daily life?
  3. Do you always need more time to recover?
  4. Do you feel exhausted when you get up?
  5. Do you suffer from lack of concentration and forgetfulness?
  6. Have you lost the fun of most things?
  7. Do you feel that you are getting less and less with more and more energy?
  8. Are you increasingly withdrawing from your fellow human beings?

If you answered 5 or more questions with "yes", you should talk to your doctor (Source: Kur + Reha GmbH)

Burnout: symptoms

The feeling of not being able to cope with the ongoing stress and problems in the professional environment will soon burden personal relationships as well. Anxiety, aggression or indifference increase even faster. Defeats gnaw at self-esteem, the willingness to communicate decreases. Concerned therefore limit the social contacts more and more and are trapped in this exhaustion situation.

The symptoms of the disease is very complex: the one feels nervous-tense, is restless and irritable. Others are depressed or anxious and withdraw. Once the soul has been so damaged, physical complaints can also be expressed:

  • Heart problems, hypertension
  • indigestion
  • Increased susceptibility to infection
  • Backache, muscle tension
  • Constant tiredness

However, the fact is that the disease does not come overnight, but develops over a longer period of time. It is therefore important to pay attention to the first symptoms and signs and to react as early as possible. Early symptoms are eg. Headache, loss of appetite or difficulty sleeping. On the mental level, there can be concentration problems, despair, nervousness and helplessness towards one's own situation. Typical sentences are: "I'm no longer up to the pressure." or "I feel empty and burned out inside."

Treat burnout yourself

Those who want to break out of the vicious circle and stop burnout have to seek a change in their deadlocked life situation and bring more relaxation to life. First, therefore, is an analysis of the life situation and the situations that trigger the inner emptiness. It may be necessary to redefine your personal and professional goals based on the analysis.

It is important to create a new balance and to find back to a life in balance. This includes sufficient sleep, a healthy diet and adequate exercise. For more safety and serenity in dealing with stress also friends and family contribute - they give the soul the necessary support. Regular breaks should be scheduled in everyday life. For example, you can take a brisk walk during the lunch break and get some fresh air. Or play sports after work or listen to relaxing music for 20 minutes to switch off. The time invested here comes back twice. After a short rest you are full of energy again.

Many sufferers find themselves in a vicious circle: they are stressed, suffer from nervous restlessness and exhaustion and find little sleep at night because of the inner tension. The next day, they feel like they are whipped and completely down. In order to break this spiral, vegetable combination preparations with the ingredients of St. John's wort, valerian and passionflower are particularly suitable. However, if a warning level is exceeded, a therapist should always be consulted.

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