Burnout can be thought of as a syndrome resulting from stress in the work place. It’s the result of constant overload to which the body adjusts until it no longer can. The continual bombardment by stress chemicals causes physical and mental exhaustion.
The World Health Organisation/WHO describe three dimensions of burnout:
- Reduced efficacy at work
Individuals with burnout often feel irritable and critical of others. They no longer enjoy work and feel unappreciated. Often they dread going back to work – that sinking feeling on a Sunday night. Unfortunately they withdraw from colleagues, friends or family. Sufferers with burnout are reluctant to seek help. They may feel embarrassed and worry how others see them. It’s not a sign of weakness.
Recovery from burnout is possible with the right support.