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Burn Out


"Burnout" isn't a medical diagnosis. Some experts think that other conditions, such as depression, are behind burnout. Researchers point out that individual factors, such as personality traits and family life, influence who experiences job burnout.




Burn Out



If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be experiencing job burnout. Consider talking to a doctor or a mental health provider because these symptoms can also be related to health conditions, such as depression.


Burnout keeps you from being productive. It reduces your energy, making you feel hopeless, cynical, and resentful. The effects of burnout can hurt your home, work, and social life. Long- term burnout can make you more vulnerable to colds and flu.


But burnout is not caused solely by stressful work or too many responsibilities. Other factors contribute to burnout, including your lifestyle and personality traits. In fact, what you do in your downtime and how you look at the world can play just as big of a role in causing overwhelming stress as work or home demands.


When you're burned out, problems seem insurmountable, everything looks bleak, and it's difficult to muster up the energy to care, let alone take action to help yourself. But you have a lot more control over stress than you may think. There are positive steps you can take to deal with overwhelming stress and get your life back into balance. One of the most effective is to reach out to others.


Reach out to those closest to you, such as your partner, family, and friends. Opening up won't make you a burden to others. In fact, most friends and loved ones will be flattered that you trust them enough to confide in them, and it will only strengthen your friendship. Try not to think about what's burning you out and make the time you spend with loved ones positive and enjoyable.


Be more sociable with your coworkers. Developing friendships with people you work with can help buffer you from job burnout. When you take a break, for example, instead of directing your attention to your smartphone, try engaging your colleagues. Or schedule social events together after work.


Make friends at work. Having strong ties in the workplace can help reduce monotony and counter the effects of burnout. Having friends to chat and joke with during the day can help relieve stress from an unfulfilling or demanding job, improve your job performance, or simply get you through a rough day.


Take time off. If burnout seems inevitable, try to take a complete break from work. Go on vacation, use up your sick days, ask for a temporary leave-of-absence, anything to remove yourself from the situation. Use the time away to recharge your batteries and pursue other methods of recovery.


Nourish your creative side. Creativity is a powerful antidote to burnout. Try something new, start a fun project, or resume a favorite hobby. Choose activities that have nothing to do with work or whatever is causing your stress.


Burnout is not simply a result of working long hours or juggling too many tasks, though those both play a role. The cynicism, depression, and lethargy that are characteristic of burnout most often occur when a person is not in control of how a job is carried out, at work or at home, or is asked to complete tasks that conflict with their sense of self.


Physical and mental exhaustion, a sense of dread about work, and frequent feelings of cynicism, anger, or irritability are key signs of burnout. Those in helping professions (such as doctors) may notice dwindling compassion toward those in their care. Feeling like you can no longer do your job effectively may also signal burnout.


By definition, burnout is an extended period of stress that feels as though it cannot be ameliorated. If stress is short-lived or tied to a specific goal, it is most likely not harmful. If the stress feels never-ending and comes with feelings of emptiness, apathy, and hopelessness, it may be indicative of burnout.


To counter burnout, having a sense of purpose, having an impact on others, or feeling as if one is making the world a better place are all valuable. Often, meaningfulness can counteract the negative aspects of a job. Other motivators include autonomy as well as a good, hard challenge.


Self-care is an effective weapon in the fight against burnout, research shows. Though self-care looks different for everyone, common strategies include yoga, mindfulness meditation, massage, exercise, dietary changes, or practicing self-compassion.


Objective: To determine burn-out levels and associated factors among healthcare personnel working in a tertiary hospital of a highly burdened area of north-east Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Primary outcome measure: Levels of burn-out, assessed by the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey (MBI-GS). Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to identify factors associated with burn-out in each MBI-GS dimension (emotional exhaustion, EX; professional efficacy, EF; cynicism, CY).


Results: Overall, 38.3% displayed high EX, 46.5% low EF and 26.5% high CY. Burn-out was frequent among staff working in intensive care units (EX 57.0%; EF 47.8%; CY 40.1%), and among residents (EX 34.9%; EF 63.9%; CY 33.4%) and nurses (EX 49.2%; EF 46.9%; CY 29.7%). Being a resident increased the risk of burn-out (by nearly 2.5 times) in all the three MBI subscales and being a nurse increased the risk of burn-out in the EX dimension in comparison to physicians. Healthcare staff directly engaged with patients with COVID-19 showed more EX and CY than those working in non-COVID wards. Finally, the risk of burn-out was higher in staff showing pre-existing psychological problems, in those having experienced a COVID-related traumatic event and in those having experienced interpersonal avoidance in the workplace and personal life.


Conclusions: Burn-out represents a great concern for healthcare staff working in a large tertiary hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact is more burdensome for front-line junior physicians. This study underlines the need to carefully address psychological well-being of healthcare workers to prevent the increase of burn-out in the event of a new COVID-19 healthcare emergency.


For the last several decades, the concept of burnout has been debated among industry professionals. In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) provided clarification by classifying burnout as a syndrome that stems from an occupational phenomenon.


Many of us know someone who has had to take a break from work due to burnout. But what exactly is this set of symptoms? And what's the difference between burnout, "normal" exhaustion and depression?


A stressful lifestyle can put people under extreme pressure, to the point that they feel exhausted, empty, burned out, and unable to cope. Stress at work can also cause physical and mental symptoms. Possible causes include feeling either permanently overworked or under-challenged, being under time pressure, or having conflicts with colleagues. Extreme commitment that results in people neglecting their own needs may also be at the root of it. Problems caused by stress at work are a common reason for taking sick leave. If someone has problems at their workplace, changes in their working environment can already make a positive difference. For people who can no longer cope with the stress of caring for ill relatives, more concrete support can help to improve their situation.


Exhaustion is a normal reaction to stress, and not necessarily a sign of disease. So does burnout describe a set of symptoms that is more than a "normal" reaction to stress? And how is it different from other mental health problems?


All definitions of burnout given so far share the idea that the symptoms are thought to be caused by work-related or other kinds of stress. One example of a source of stress outside of work is caring for a family member.


The symptoms that are said to be a result of burnout can generally also have other causes, including mental or psychosomatic illnesses like depression, anxiety disorders or chronic fatigue syndrome. But physical illnesses or certain medications can cause symptoms such as exhaustion and tiredness too. So it's important to consider other possible causes first together with a doctor, and not to conclude you have burnout straight away.


It has been suggested that the first printed use of the term "burnout" in English was in one of Shakespeare's sonnets in 1599,[8] referring to a woman's love burning out. The sonnet in question is one of Shakespeare's most famous.


In 1869, New York neurologist George Beard used the term "neurasthenia" to describe a very broad condition caused by the exhaustion of the nervous system, which was thought to be particularly found in "civilized, intellectual communities."[9] The concept soon became popular, and many in the United States believed themselves to have it. Some came to call it "Americanitis".[10] The rest cure was a commonly prescribed treatment (though there were many others). Beard yet further broadened the potential symptoms of neurasthenia over time, so that almost any symptom or behaviour could be deemed to be caused by it.[11] Don R Lipsitt would later wonder if the term "burnout" was similarly too broadly defined to be useful.[12]


In 1969, HB Bradley used the term "burnout" in a criminology paper to describe the fatigued staff at a centre for treating young adult offenders.[14] This has been cited as the first known academic work to use the term for this concept.[8]


In 1974, Herbert Freudenberger, an American psychologist, used the term in his academic paper "Staff Burn-Out."[15] The paper was based on his qualitative observations of the volunteer staff (including himself) at a free clinic for drug addicts.[16] He characterized burnout by a set of symptoms that includes exhaustion resulting from work's excessive demands as well as physical symptoms such as headaches and sleeplessness, "quickness to anger", and closed thinking. He observed that the burned-out worker "looks, acts, and seems depressed." After the publication of Freudenberger's paper, interest in the concept grew. 041b061a72


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