Burnout? Do you feel burnt out?
Yes, people who work hard for years or help others intensively can suddenly notice that their body becomes exhausted. This can possibly be a sign or symptom of burnout. On this page you will find a scientifically validated self-test with which you can measure if you are at risk for burnout.
Burnout? Do you feel tired or fatigued?
Another important sign of burnout is that you feel tired. This fatigue increases during the day or while you are making an effort for anything. This is the other way around in depression. In depression one namely feels more tired in the morning when getting up, while burnout mainly means fatigue increases after you have been doing work for a while.
Burnout? Concentration issues? Do you find it difficult to focus?
Burnout often leads to concentration problems. You find it hard to focus for a longer period of time, and this gets worse while the day goes on. Long-term stress causes an increased secretion of the stress hormone cortisol in the adrenal glands. This overdose of adrenal gland hormone is poisonous for the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain which is responsible for our concentration abilities and memory. The neurons in this part of the brain become exhausted and even die due to this long-term stress. This leads to concentration issues.
Burnout: cause of memory problems? I cannot remember anything!
Indeed, people with burnout often complain that their memory no longer functions. They find it difficult to remember things, and these complaints often get worse when they are tired, when their workday comes to an end, or at the end of a long task. Often, you notice that the memory is disrupted when you need to switch between several tasks. You then do not remember whatever i was which you memorized just before.
Burnout because of an overused working memory?
The reason for this memory disorder is likely that the working memory has been overused for months or even years, by either excessive working or excessive worrying. Both processes make use of the same working memory. Our working memory in the brain is an organ which, like any other organ, can become overused, meaning it needs rest in order to recover. We found, in our research, that the anti-worrying exercise from the online self-help program had a very positive effect on the recovery of the working memory.
Burnout leads to exhaustion and a burnt out feeling
Months of over-using the systems mentioned above has as a result that our brain literally becomes tired and exhausted, and are in dire need of a proper recovery. In case this is not done, burnout can lead to the chronic fatigue syndrome, also called CFS.
Burnout treatment: How can you treat burnout?
Burnout is solvable, as long as the treatment is right. In the past, this was only possible by following psychotherapy with a psychotherapist. Nowadays you can also help yourself online by following this online self-help program to heal your burnout.
Burnout test: How can I test if I suffer from burnout?
We developed an online self-test for you, which measures how stressed you are. Do this burnout test now to see where you are standing. You can also use this self-test later on to see if you have made progress since your treatment started.
Paul Koeck, MD