Burnout: how to detect it and act

the Burnout syndrome (Burnt, melted) is a type of stress at work, state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion that affects self-esteem, And is characterized by a gradual process, whereby people lose interest in their tasks, sense of responsibility and can even reach deep depressions.

    What is burnout syndrome?

    The burnout syndrome, sometimes translated as “burnout syndrome”, a psychological disorder linked to the work context and which can be a disorder because of its harmful effects on the quality of life. As we will see, it has its own characteristics of mood disorders (like depression) and anxiety disorders.

    Although it does not currently appear in the main diagnostic textbooks of psychopathologies, there is a growing body of evidence on the characteristics of this phenomenon, which can be used to understand the profile of this disorder as a psychopathology separate from the depression and other disorders.

    This syndrome was first described in 1969 when he verified the strange behavior of some police officers of the time: law enforcement officers who showed an accurate picture of the symptoms.

    In 1974, Freudenberger made the syndrome more popular, and later, in 1986, American psychologists C. Maslach and S. Jackson defined it as “a syndrome of emotional fatigue, depersonalization and less personal growth which occurs in people who work in contact. with customers and users ”.

    How does this psychological disorder manifest itself?

    The syndrome would be the extreme response to chronic stress from the work context and would have individual repercussions, but it would also affect organizational and social aspects. Since the 1980s, researchers have continued to take an interest in this phenomenon, but it was not until the late 1990s that there was a certain consensus on its causes and consequences.

    One of the general explanatory models is that of Gil-Monte and Peiró (1997), but others such as those of Manassero et al (2003), Ramos (1999), Matteson and Ivansevich (1997), Peiró et al (1994 ) or Leiter (1988), were born to respond to the intervention strategies and techniques necessary to prevent and minimize the effects of a growing problem especially since the onset of the crisis (Gili, McKee. And Stuckler. 2013). In addition, it has been hypothesized that the possibility of burnout syndrome could be one of the causes of chronic fatigue syndrome.

    Cultural differences in burnout syndrome

    However, and given the advances developed by research in specific areas, there are still several interpretations of the type of intervention most appropriate when correcting: either individual type, emphasizing psychological action, or social or organizational, affecting working conditions. (Gil-Monte, 2009). It is possible that these deviations originate from the cultural influence.

    The studies of Maslach, Schaufeli and Leiter (2001) have shown that there are some qualitative differences in the American and European profile, such as the latter exhibit lower levels of exhaustion and cynicism. No matter what continent you live in, there are certain aspects that you need to be aware of in order to act on time and be able to prevent or correct it. In this article, you will find some clues about this phenomenon. What you learn can help you resolve the problem and take action before it affects your health.

    People at risk of suffering

    You may be more likely to experience exhaustion if you experience more than one of the following characteristics (in the form of signs or symptoms):

    • He identifies so strongly with work that he needs a reasonable work-life balance.

    • Try to be everything to everyone, take on tasks and duties that don’t fit your job.

    • He exercises professions related to work activities that link the worker and his services directly with the clients. This is not to say that you may not be present in other types of tasks, but in general, doctors, nurses, consultants, social workers, teachers, home salespeople, surveyors , debt collectors and many other trades and professions are at a greater risk of developing the condition.

    • Feeling that he has little or no control over his work.

    • His work is particularly monotonous and does not suffer any shock.

    Can I suffer from burnout at work?

    Ask yourself the following questions to find out if you are at risk of burnout:

    • Have you become cynical or critical at work?

    • Do you crawl to work and usually have a hard time getting started when you get there?

    • Have you become irritable or impatient with co-workers or clients?

    • Do you lack the energy to be constantly productive?

    • Do you lack satisfaction in your successes?

    • Are you disappointed with your job?

    • Are you consuming too much food, drugs, or alcohol to feel better?

    • Have your sleeping or hunger habits changed because of your occupation?

    • Are you concerned about unexplained headaches, back pain, or other physical issues?

    If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be exhausted.. Be sure to consult your doctor or mental health professional; however, some of these symptoms can also indicate certain health problems, such as a thyroid disorder or depression.

    main symptoms

    • emotional exhaustion: Professional wear and tear which leads the person to mental and physiological exhaustion. There is a loss of energy, physical and mental fatigue. Emotional exhaustion occurs when one has to perform daily and continuous professional tasks with people who need to be cared for as objects of work.

    • depersonalization: It manifests itself in negative attitudes towards users / customers, there is increased irritability and loss of motivation. The hardening of relationships can lead to the dehumanization of the agreement.

    • Lack of personal development: Decreased personal self-esteem, frustration with expectations and manifestations of stress at physiological, cognitive and behavioral levels.

    the causes

    the exhaustion of work present in burnout syndrome this can be the result of several factors and can occur normally when conditions occur both at the person’s level (with reference to their tolerance for stress and frustration, etc.) and at the organizational level (deficiencies in the definition of stoppage, the environment work, the leadership style of superiors, among others).

    The most common causes are as follows.

    1. Lack of control

    An inability to influence decisions that affect your job: like your schedule, assignments, or workload, which could cause your job to burn out.

    2. Unclear professional expectations

    If you are not sure how much authority you have or what your supervisor or others expect from you, you are unlikely to feel comfortable at work.

    3. The dynamics of dysfunctional work

    Maybe you are working with someone in conflict in the office, you feel looked down upon by your coworkers, or your boss is not paying enough attention to your job.

    4. Differences in values

    If the values ​​differ from the way your employer does business or handles complaints, a mismatch can result in billing.

    5. Poor adaptation of the job

    If your job doesn’t match your interests and skills, it can become more and more stressful over time.

    6. The purposes of the activity

    When a job is always monotonous or chaotic, it needs constant energy to stay focused, which can contribute to higher levels of fatigue and exhaustion at work.

    7. Lack of social support

    If you feel isolated at work and in your personal life, you might feel more stressed.

    8. Imbalance between professional, family and social life

    If your job takes a lot of time and effort, and you don’t have enough time to be with family and friends, you can burn out quickly.

    Psychological and health effects

    Ignoring or not treating burnout can have significant consequences, including:

    • Excessive stress

    • tired
    • insomnia

    • A negative spillover into personal relationships or home life
    • depression

    • anxiety

    • Alcohol or substance abuse
    • cardiovascular deterioration
    • High cholesterol
    • Diabetes, especially in women

    • cerebral infarction
    • obesity
    • Vulnerability to diseases
    • ulcers
    • Weightloss
    • muscle aches
    • migraines
    • gastrointestinal problems
    • the allergies
    • Asthma
    • Problems with menstrual cycles

    Remember, if you think you are exhausted, don’t ignore your symptoms. Check with your doctor or mental health professional to identify or rule out the existence of underlying health problems.

    Therapy, treatment and counseling

    If you’re concerned about burnout at work, you need to take action. To start:

    • Manage stressors that contribute to burnout. Once you’ve identified what’s fueling your burnout symptoms, you can make a plan to address the issues.

    • Evaluate Your Options. Discuss your specific concerns with your supervisor. Maybe they can work together to change expectations or find compromises or solutions.

    • Adjust your attitude. If you’ve become cynical at work, think about ways to improve your outlook. Rediscover the cool aspects of your site. Build positive relationships with your peers for better results. Take short breaks throughout the day. Spend time out of the office and do what you love.

    • seek support. Whether it reaches coworkers, friends, relatives, or other people, support and collaboration can help you cope with work stress and feelings of burnout. If you have access to an employee assistance program, take advantage of the services available.

    • Assess your interests, skills and passions. An honest assessment can help you decide to consider another job, one that is less demanding or one that best matches your interests or core values.

    • Get some exercise. Regular physical activity, such as walking or cycling, can help you cope better with stress. It can also help you disconnect from work and engage in something else.

    In short, it is advisable to keep an open mind while considering the options, and if you think you are suffering from this syndrome, try to fix it as quickly as possible.

    It’s also important not to make the problem a little worse by mistaking burnout syndrome for a disease – it doesn’t, and its triggers don’t have to be in the body either to be clear about it. , it is good to read this article: “The differences between syndrome, disorder and disease.”

    Bibliographical references:

    • Bianchi, R .; Schonfeld, IS; Laurent, E. (2015). Overlapping depression: a review. Clinical Psychology Review, 36: pages 28-41.
    • Kristensen, TS; Borritz, M .; Villadsen, E .; Christensen, KB (2005). The Copenhagen Burnout Inventory: a new tool to assess burnout. Work and stress. 19 (3): 192-207.
    • Martín, Ramos Camps and Contador Castell (2006) “Resilience and the burnout-engagement model among formal caregivers of older people”, Psicothema, 18 (4), pp. 791-796.
    • Maslach and Leiter (1997) The Truth About Burnout. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.
    • Maslach, Schaufeli and Leiter (2001) Job Burnout. Annual Journal of Psychology, 52, 397,422.
    • Matteson and Ivancevich (1987) Controlling stress at work: effective management strategies and resources. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
    • Oosterholt, BG .; Maes, JHR; Van der Linden, D .; Verbraak, MJPM; Kompier, MAJ (2015). Burnout and cortisol: evidence for a weaker response to cortisol awakening in clinical and non-clinical burnout. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 78 (5): pages 445 – 451.

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