What is burnout syndrome?The burnout syndrome is accompanied by emotional exhaustion and excessive demands as well as lack of vitality.
The burnout syndrome describes the mental burnout and chronic overexertion and overload, whereby the affected patient loses all interest in work and private life and the performance has almost completely disappeared. It is a slowing down of high motivation and interest in the job, which is caused by many disappointments or false expectations. The disorder is divided into stages and, in the worst case, can result in suicide if left untreated.
Mostly, the burnout syndrome is caused by prolonged occupational stress, overwork and overwork. But false expectations of life and work as well as other personal psychological problems can lead to burnout. Since the disease often leads to suicidal thoughts, a doctor should be consulted in time to treat the disease as early as possible.
It used to be thought that burnout syndrome could only affect those occupational groups who needed a high level of motivation and were exposed to many disappointments or situations that they had no reason to oppose. Helping professions such as doctors, nurses or life counselors, however, as well as all other people.
The cause of the burnout syndrome is that the patient approaches his profession with an extremely high degree of motivation and forgets to handle the disappointments correctly. Above all, teachers are often affected by burnout, as their expectations from studying often conflict with the reality in schools.
Over time, however, the pressure of these disappointments on the patient's mind grows and he loses motivation in the profession because his individual processing mechanisms have failed or are absent. However, burnout syndrome also affects some patients more than others. People with known helper syndrome, ADHD or neuroticism are in the risk group and are more likely to get sick than other people in a challenging job or life situation.
Symptoms, complaints & signs
The following only lists the physical symptoms of burnout. These can occur in very different forms and intensities. In addition to the physical symptoms, but especially the psychological symptoms are of essential importance for the detection of a burnout syndrome. These include above all a low self-confidence, general dissatisfaction with the profession, constant feeling of stress and sadness. Furthermore, the affected persons also suffer from listlessness and lose their zest for life.
The burnout syndrome consists of a variety of symptoms that do not always have to occur simultaneously. Rather, it is a combination of various ailments that affect those affected and that increase as the disease progresses.
So at the beginning there are perceived and actual overburdening in the face of upcoming tasks. This results in physical exhaustion and mental stress. Nevertheless, the person concerned puts himself under pressure to meet the environment. However, performance is not considered sufficient, and in the course of burnout it is often assumed by the person affected that it is up to him. Reward mechanisms and recognition of achievement are no longer considered sufficient. The self-esteem can suffer from this and it can lead to depression.
The constant lethargy finally leads to listlessness and unwillingness to tackle challenges. This feeling sometimes influences the everyday, so that those affected neglect their own needs. It comes in some cases to the neglect of the social.
Sleep problems and stress promote physical symptoms, including indigestion and pain. Nevertheless, the ability to self-pause fails because it is assumed that one's own performance is simply insufficient. It comes to the strengthening of all symptoms and a steadily worsening mental state.
In the end, despair is the self-abandonment. A severe burnout syndrome sometimes ends in suicidal tendencies. Signs are permanent stress in combination with self-imposed performance pressure. Those affected, despite their suffering, simply continue to prove something to themselves and their environment. The ability to recognize one's own limits is lost.
Symptomatic of the burnout syndrome is initially an exaggerated motivation, coupled with the lack of ability to recognize defeats as such and to see. It is already considered a first warning signal when the patient sacrifices for the profession. At the beginning of the illness, he feels irreplaceable, making almost perfectionist claims on himself and everyone else. The patient scares colleagues with this seemingly perfectionist behavior. Furthermore, he is convinced of fulfilling his ideals.
Over time, however, the performance decreases and the motivation dwindles, it is only worked dull, without social contact to seek colleagues. Rather, finger-pointing is observed, which is one last emotional reaction of the patient. As the burnout syndrome progresses, the family and circle of friends are neglected, the patient withdraws and develops doubts about his past life and place in it. Finally, the burnout syndrome reaches a point where the patient becomes incapacitated and in the worst case may even be suicidal.
Burnout syndrome can cause many different complications, depending on the person's mental and physical condition. There are also differences between male and female persons. As a rule, burnout syndrome causes complications that lead to severe fatigue in the person. This exhaustion can be so strong that it creates a disability.
In the worst case, the burnout syndrome leads to suicide, which is relatively rare. In most cases, the patient feels very exhausted and tense. This tension is not only physical but also psychic. Patients are also powerless, tired, weak and tense. A weak drive was also one of the usual symptoms of burnout.
Without treatment the symptoms increase, so that later on it comes to an indifference to other people and successes. A cynical attitude occurs just as often. As a rule, the experiences of failure intensify the symptoms of burn-out. Treatment usually takes place on a psychological level and should always be done by a psychologist.
However, the burnout syndrome also weakens the physical properties of the body, which is why sports activities also belong to the therapy. Mostly, a therapy with the psychologist is successful and leads to the fight against burnout syndrome. However, success depends heavily on the will of the person concerned.
When should you go to the doctor?
Discomfort, aversion or exhaustion through exertion are normal even in healthy people. The question of whether and when to go to the doctor depends on the duration and severity of the symptoms. At the latest when the daily commute to work seems unbearable for at least two weeks and you are no longer able to switch off and relax, a doctor should be consulted.
In this condition one is very close to a breakdown. A change in everyday life should urgently be initiated. For a first conversation, the family doctor can be visited. If this seems to focus too much on physical causes, a specialist should be consulted.
If desired, the family doctor can also refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist. The psychologist can then help out in the context of psychotherapy from the crisis. The psychiatrist, in turn, prescribes medications that support and help against stress, related sleep disorders and possibly depression.
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Treatment & Therapy
Important for the treatment is first the exact knowledge of the causes of the burnout syndrome. Some patients have a work-related condition, while others have a different mental condition underlying the condition. The early stage burnout syndrome is sometimes spontaneously improved by a minimal change. A change of boss, a new job or a balance to the stressful situation can ensure that the burnout syndrome is reversed.
However, in advanced stages the patient needs professional help. The treatment of the burnout syndrome is first to remove the patient from the stressful situation and to allow him a break, which usually takes place in a specialized clinic. Meanwhile, his individual problems are analyzed, which have led to burnout syndrome. After discharge from the clinic, he receives further psychotherapy, is supervised by the attending psychologist and receives targeted coaching.
Outlook & Forecast
The burnout syndrome has come to the fore in the recent past like almost no other mental illness, because more and more people are suffering from it and it is now often recognized in time. This is important to influence the prognosis, because a timely recognized and treated burnout syndrome can be treated relatively quickly and easily.
At best, the patient will only need a short psychotherapy, possibly a short stay in hospital and, depending on the condition, easily effective psychotropic drugs. This offers the advantage that the loss of work is low and the medications used are probably well tolerated and not taken long - if at all.
An unrecognized burnout syndrome, however, continues to evolve, with all the consequences for the person affected. He often changes his lifestyle and develops new, unhealthy mechanisms to cope with the stress of his everyday life. This can break primarily the interpersonal relationships, but the coping mechanism can also have physical consequences.
In particularly severe cases, the burnout syndrome develops to a point where the patient is no longer able to do anything, can not cope with everyday life, develops suicidal thoughts and at worst puts them into action or tries to do so. Such advanced cases of burnout syndrome can no longer be treated quickly and usually end with inpatient stays of several months, potential occupational disability and the intake of high-dose drugs.
Precaution would actually be much more important than aftercare in burn-out syndrome. But once it has come to the exhaustion syndrome, the person concerned can not be sent back to work afterwards. A regular care and after care would be desirable. It may be necessary to initiate life-changing measures, such as halving the post in favor of maintaining a healthy state.
In what form - and if anything - a follow-up takes place, however, is different. Often, the patient is considered fully recoverable after rehab. Without getting to the root of the burn-out syndrome, however, stressors can not be turned off or changed. Therefore, coaching following the actual treatment would be a useful aftercare approach.
Psychological support in the year after a stay in hospital accompanies the person concerned in his everyday life. It helps to make behavioral adjustments or to choose another profession. The problem is that such follow-up measures often have to be self-financed. The actual treatment of a burn-out syndrome is often enough only to restore the functionality.
Another option for aftercare would be a treatment with a naturopath, ideally one with psychological training. Here, the physical and emotional support could be combined. Self-help groups are another option. Here, affected persons exchange information and support themselves with problems of everyday life.
Home remedies & herbs for nervous ailments
- Teas and baths of lemon balm and hops calm the nerves and stabilize the mood. They are also ideal for sleep disorders.
- 10 drops of valerian tincture dissolved in a lukewarm glass of water for the night, calms the mind, soul and body permanently. However, the calming effects can last up to two weeks. But he also lasts longer.
You can do that yourself
Those affected by burnout syndrome usually suffer from heavy stress and find little opportunity for relaxation. Anyone who suffers from burnout syndrome should get professional help from doctors and therapists and also take helpful tips for self-help.
In the everyday life of those affected, it is extremely important to do regular psycho-hygiene. With mind hygiene, mind and soul can be cleansed, so that the soul can breathe easier and is carefree. When burnout syndrome should always be a change in behavior in everyday life aspired.
A personal break, a reduction of working hours, a resumption of hobbies and other measures should give you more time for yourself to feel better again and to get in the middle of it. With relaxation techniques one can calm one's mind even in stormy times and reduce an inner tension and arousal.
In addition, an active lifestyle with sufficient exercise is recommended. Sports, such as jogging, cycling or swimming, represent a successful balance to everyday life and help to reduce the stress of everyday life. With a fitness training, the physical resources of those affected can be strengthened and, as a result, body awareness and self-confidence can be improved. A healthy and balanced diet ensures adequate supply of nutrients to the body and thus stabilizes the body.