Burnout is very common in our Western society. We well shortly explain how to pick a doctor who can help you to solve fatigue or burnout.
What is burnout?
Burnout is a condition of fatigue and exhaustion, often caused by work. Burnout is more of a collective noun rather than a strict medical diagnosis. It indicates a situation of chronic stress combined with exhaustion, getting tired quickly, working less productively, having a hard time concentrating, and sometimes even memory problems.
How do you solve a burnout?
First of all by resting. Other than that, by doing things that make you enjoy life once again. This is done by focusing on small things, such as looking at a flower, going for a short walk in nature, taking your dog out for a walk, playing with your children. In short, normal things. Sometimes this is enough. Sometimes, however, if your burnout has been present for a long time, it can be so that you are at the border to depression, an anxiety disorder, or another problem or bodily complaint, also called psychosomatic complaints. To differentiate between these, your doctor or any other physician can help you. To prepare for this talk, you can do the online self-test on this website, print the results, and bring this for your doctor so that you can discuss this together. So any doctor can help you to see the difference between a normal burnout or a deeper problem.
Which doctor can help me to solve my burnout?
1. Your family doctor
If we are speaking of a normal burnout, a simple talk with your family doctor may be enough. This doctor can help you look for the small things which I described above.
2. An accredited physician-psychotherapist
In case the burnout has been present for a long time, your doctor can refer you to a colleague physician who has studied guidance in case of burnout - a doctor with an additional education in psychotherapy. The education to become physician-psychotherapist takes four years and is very thorough: we are not talking about a weekend seminar here. A physician-psychotherapist can help you to find the solutions which suit you. A psychologist, too, can get an education to become a psychotherapist. They then need to follow a four-year education after they get their diploma as psychologist. An accredited trained psychotherapist is only found in a certified physician or psychologist with a university education. So be wary of so-called therapists who are not a doctor or psychologist, because in Europe such a person cannot be a certified therapist, according to European rules and regulations. This way, Europe tries to protect you from amateurism and quackery.
3. A psychiatrist-psychotherapist
Sometimes people ask me what the difference is between a psychiatrist and a therapist. A psychiatrist is a physician who has mainly studied the psychiatric problems found in hospitals and problems which need to be medicated. A psychiatrist can also follow the four-year course in psychotherapy, making them a psychiatrist-psychotherapist. This means that they have gained the communication skills necessary to guide you. So incase you are spending a lot of money on a psychiatrist to guide you, make sure to inform if they are also educated as a psychotherapist or not.
4. Online help with burnout
It could be so that you prefer to help yourself, without the help of a specialized doctor. In that case, online help service in the shape of a professional online self-help program could be a good solution for you. You literally help yourself with the guidance of this online self-help program. This program is implemented in two possible ways:
- daily pure self-help, with guidance of your online self-help program, or
- your online self-help program, with additional guidance via the internet (e-mail, chat telephone) from an online therapist or psychologist.
Hopefully this helps you to take a step on the way to making a better choice.
Self-test for burnout
If you want to know to what extent stress, tension, anxiety or even depressed feelings play a part in your burnout, then you can easily test this by filling out a simple test with 21 short questions.
Paul Koeck, MD