That is a difficult question. If you ask this question to a professional, this person is likely to tell you that people have not quite figured out an answer yet. Burnout and depression are namely very similar to each other and the symptoms, too, are very much alike. Therefore it is difficult to know what might have started it all. Sometimes, a burnout can cause a depression, or the other way around. Because burnout and depression occur together very often, it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between the two. Yet, there is an important difference that can be seen between burnout and depression. In burnout, a depletion of cortisol production is namely at play. Cortisol is responsible for the stress level which we experience. When we are stressed, our cortisol levels will increase, too. You can therefore say that the cause of burnout is related to the stress which you experience. In depression, on the other hand, we do not speak of a depleted cortisol production just yet. This explains why people with depression also experience an exhausted feeling, without this being the main symptom. In burnout we mainly consider an exhausted feeling. Thus, this is an important difference between burnout and depression.
Burnout and depression? How do I treat it?
Because the symptoms of burnout and depression are generally very much alike, may aspects of treatment for the issues can also be compared. 15 Minutes 4 Me, in collaboration with doctors and psychologists, developed an online self-help program which you can follow if you want to treat burnout and depression. In the program, you learn what helps you and how you can re-gain your happiness and peace of mind. It also gives you tools, which you can use after quitting the program, in order to avoid relapse. You learn to work on yourself and to maintain yourself!
Burnout and depression? Take the depression test!
Would you like to know whether you experience burnout symptoms or rather depression symptoms? Then you can fill out our free depression test here!