About burn-out

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.

Symptoms burn-out

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:

  • Overtiredness
  • 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
  • Worrying
  • Lack of appetite and nausea
  • Heart palpitation
  • Hypertension
  • Agitation
  • Reduced resistance
  • Gloominess and fit of weeping
  • Fears and panic attacks
  • Indecisiveness
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Sensitive and easily irritated
  • Insecure and low self-esteem
  • Feelings of powerlessness
  • Intestinal problems
  • Low libido