Burnout

March 2017


Definition


Burnout is a rather contemporary disease, also known as the burnout syndrome. Misunderstood and misdiagnosed, burnout affects 10% of workers. Burnout is a form of general, physical and / or mental fatigue caused by stress and anxiety following a work experience perceived as excessive or too difficult. However, it is not considered a mental illness or a mental disorder by the medical profession. Burnout has both physical and mental implications for the body. Its treatment requires a medical and psychological care.

Diagnosis


Burnout is medically considered to be a disorder of adaptation. The diagnosis is difficult to establish, although GPs and occupational medicine practitioners are aware of the disease. To diagnose a possible burnout, physicians spend a lot of time talking to a patient. A blood test may be ordered to determine a possible organic cause for the fatigue. A psychological assessment is imperative to establish a proper medical treatment and psychological counseling.

Symptoms


Burnout is physically and psychologically manifested in various manners depending on the individual patient. Among the psychological symptoms there are:
  • lack of motivation;
  • frustration, isolation;
  • anxiety;
  • memory and concentration disorders;
  • occasional suicidal thoughts.

The physical symptoms are:
  • fatigue;
  • spreading pain;
  • disorders of digestion;
  • sleep disorders;
  • rapid weight gain or loss.

Treatment


The first step in treatment is to prescribe a break from work. It will last as long as necessary, and is essential to initiate the healing process. To recover from burnout, a patient also needs rest. The management of burnout involves psychotherapy provided by a psychologist. More rarely, the doctor may prescribe a medication such as:
  • anxiolytics;
  • antidepressants.

Related

Published by Jeff.
This document, titled "Burnout," is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM Health (health.ccm.net).