What is Burnout Syndrome?
The burnout Syndrome, also called burnout or burning at work syndrome, is an emotional disorder recently created is linked to the workplace stress caused by work and lifestyle of the employee. This syndrome can have very serious consequences, both physically and psychologically. It leads to stress, detachment, and depression.
Burn out syndrome is excessive and chronic stress caused by overload or excessive work. The term “burnout” is an English word and literally means “burn to the end”. It is, therefore, physical and mental exhaustion resulting from an exhausting and overloaded professional life.
The burnout syndrome occurs mainly in people who spend a lot of professional life in work and then feel frustrated because they feel that their work is not properly recognized or valued.
These people can be divided into two large groups. The first is composed of very competitive, ambitious individuals who tend not to delegate functions, accumulating all the work and responsibility for themselves. The second is composed of insecure people who need recognition from others and have difficulty saying “no” and are therefore able to relinquish their own needs to work.
People frequently use alcoholic beverages, tobacco, non-prescription drugs, and illicit drugs as a form of relief, which only worsens a person’s physical and mental condition.
Causes of Burnout:
The main cause of the burnout syndrome is the work environment and working conditions. The employee who is continuously exposed to, among others,
- High levels of stress
- Excessive workload
- Poor autonomy
- The poor relationship at work
- Lack of support in their environment
- Lack of training to perform tasks
- Excessive demands
These are the triggers risk factors you may end up suffering from chronic stress that ends up causing burnout. For that reason, the link between stress and burnout is very strong.
Signs and Symptoms of Burnout Syndrome:
Burnout Syndrome involves nervousness, psychological distress and physical problems such as belly pain, excessive tiredness, and dizziness. Stress and unwillingness to get out of bed or at home, when constant, may indicate the onset of the illness.
Other symptoms that may indicate Burnout Syndrome are:
- Excessive physical and mental tiredness.
- A frequent headache.
- Changes in appetite.
- Difficulties of concentration.
- Feelings of failure and insecurity.
- Low self-esteem
- Constant Negativity.
- Feelings of defeat and hopelessness.
- Feelings of incompetence.
- Aggressive behavior
- Sudden mood swings.
- High pressure.
- Muscle aches.
- Gastrointestinal problems.
- Change in heart rate.
Usually, these symptoms appear mildly but tend to worsen as the days go by. For this reason, many people think it can be something fleeting. To avoid more serious problems and complications of the disease, it is vital to seek professional support as soon as you notice any signs. It may be something fleeting, such as the onset of Burnout Syndrome.
How to Treat Burnout Syndrome?
The treatment of Burnout Syndrome is basically done with psychotherapy, but it can also involve medications (antidepressants and/or anxiolytics). The treatment usually takes effect between one and three months but can last longer, according to each case.
Changes in working conditions and, especially, changes in habits and lifestyles. Regular physical activity and relaxation exercises should be routine, to relieve stress and to control the symptoms of the disease. After medical diagnosis, it is strongly recommended that the person take vacations and develop leisure activities with people close friends, relatives, spouses etc.
Signs of worsening Burnout Syndrome arise when the person does not follow the proper treatment. As a result, the symptoms worsen and include total loss of motivation and gastrointestinal disturbances. In more severe cases, the person may develop a depression, which can often be indicative of hospitalization for detailed evaluation and possible medical interventions.
How to prevent Burnout Syndrome?
The best way to prevent Burnout Syndrome is to strategically reduce stress and pressure at work. Therefore, Healthy behaviors prevent the development of the disease, as well as help treat signs and symptoms early on.
The main ways to prevent Burnout Syndrome are:
- Set small goals in your professional and personal life.
- Participate in leisure activities with friends and family.
- Do activities that “escape” the daily routine, such as walking, eating in a restaurant or going to the movies
- Avoid contact with “negative” people, especially those who complain about work or others.
- Talk to someone you trust about what you are feeling.
- Do regular physical activity. It could be a gym, walking, running, cycling, rowing, swimming etc.
- Avoid drinking alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs because it will only worsen mental confusion.
- Do not self-medicate or take over-the-counter medicines.
Another much-recommended course of prevention of Burnout Syndrome is proper rest with good night’s sleep (at least 8 hours a day). It is essential to maintain a balance between work, leisure, family, social life and physical activities.