Understanding Burnout and How To Treat It

5 stages of burnout

If you have ever experienced true burnout, you will never forget it. Most people experience 5 stages of burnout, and often don’t get burnout treatment until they reach the final stage. This is a shame, because useful burnout treatment is available, and it’s possible to avoid the final stages of burnout symptoms and recover.

What is Burnout?

Burnout is essential a collapse that is caused by overwork or intense stress. The collapse can be mental or physical, or both. It comes from being in a state of chronic, constant stress that leads to exhaustion, then detachment, and finally a feeling of being useless.

What are the Early Stages of Burnout?

The first stage is sometimes referred to as the Honeymoon. During this stage, a person is generally satisfied, committed, and energetic. Everything seems right, but the key is developing the right coping strategies for job stress. Most people don’t, and they then head into stage two. At this stage, a person experiences some job dissatisfaction and inefficiency. They may also find themselves fatigued and have trouble sleeping, but this is occasional. Some days are still great. In the third stage, these symptoms intensify until a person is constantly ill, angry, depressed and suffering signs of physical exhaustion.

What are the Later Stages of Burnout?

The final two stages of burnout are by far the worst. If it is possible to seek burnout treatment before reaching the final stage, this is best. In the fourth stage, all the physical issues intensify and new ones may develop. The person has signs of emotional exhaustion and obsesses about work problems and dreams of escaping. They feel pessimistic and dark about everything. In the final stage, those symptoms are such a life habit that the person may be diagnosed as having a serious physical or emotional problem instead of being seen as suffering burnout from improper work-life balance and given burnout treatment.

Who Gets Burnout?

Theoretically, any person can develop burnout in any job, and two-thirds of working women and men say their work already has a serious effect upon their stress levels. One in four people in the workplace has taken a sick day because of stress, and a million people in the United States every day ar missing work because of stress. Some jobs, however, have a greater risk of burnout. Doctors, for example, have some of the highest stress jobs around. Doctors under the age of 35 burn out at a rate of 44%, and almost half are currently believed to be suffering at least one burnout symptom.

Is There Any Burnout Treatment Available?

Burnout is not a hopeless situation. A few people will progress so far that they develop an emotional or physical issue that they cannot recover from, but the vast majority of people can come back. Some things that are important to begin immediately are to turn to people, finding good listeners to share the burden, investing in close relationships, making an effort to be more sociable, and joining personally meaningful social groups. It’s also important to find creative hobbies, set work boundaries, and do some exercise that you enjoy.

Burnout can be disabling, but there is hope. There are things that can be done immediately, and there are professionals able to give a listening ear and clear direction for coming back from burnout. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of burnout, don’t wait. Seek help right away and get back to enjoying work and life.

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