A burn-out is an exhaustion of both body and mind from often (many) years of high pressure of work and/or stressful working conditions. It is often accompanied by a wide variety of symptoms on both physical and psychological level.
Important psychological symptoms of a burn-out are ( Maslach et al., 2001; Schaufeli, 2007):
- Mental exhaustion. However, this is not only a psychological issue. Biological processes play also an important role in this. A constant appeal to processes that coordinate alertness can lead to enormous disruptions in alertness. As a result, stress tolerance decreases and the feeling of fatigue and resistance to any kind of effort increases.
- Depersonalization. As a result of the exhaustion, people can dissociate themselves emotionally and cognitively from work and colleagues. This as an attempt to prevent further exhaustion.
- Reduced personal ability. This is the impression of the individual that he/she is less functioning at work. It relates strongly to the self-efficacy of the individual and his/her self-esteem.
Information film about burn-out:
Other psychological and physical complaints of a burn-out can be:
- Problems with concentration and memory
- A variety of pain complaints (headache, muscle pain, stomach and abdominal pain, back and neck pain and joint pain)
- Sleeping problems
- Lack of appetite and nausea
- Heart palpitation
- Reduced resistance
- Gloominess and fit of weeping
- Fears and panic attacks
- Feelings of guilt
- Sensitive and easily irritated
- Insecure and low self-esteem
- Feelings of powerlessness
- Intestinal problems
- Low libido