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Burnout


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.
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