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Fatigue? After years of working under pressure, without breaks or vacation, your body and mind will slowly become fatigued and exhausted. Burnout is a term used to describe this. But how do you know if you have this? Of course, it is important to speak to your doctor about possible medical causes. But most often, if you feel empty, fatigued and exhausted during a long period of time, there is a large chance that you suffer from burnout. You no longer want to take any initiative, your power to focus is reduced and even your memory worsens. You no longer enjoy the small things in life such as a sunset or a pretty flower. If you recognize some of these signs, there is a high probability that you are fatigued or even exhausted. You get into an exhausted state.
A deficit of several chemical substances in the brain (called neurotransmitters) makes it so that you lose your will to live, become fatigued and no longer feel rested. Sometimes you even start having problems sleeping, so the exhaustion builds up. You seem to lose your self-control and constantly feel tired and empty. An excess of adrenaline or stress hormone causes your mind and body to work more than they should, so you become literally and figuratively exhausted. You cannot go on and do not understand why. You feel tired and fatigued, irritable and difficult. Also, you suffer from many small complaints like heart palpitations, an aching back, tiredness, sleeplessness, apathy, nagging, and being unpleasant, brusque or even aggressive toward others. Your exhaustion increases.
Fatigue? Sometimes it can happen when you neglect yourself, by not setting limits towards other people and not showing what you can or cannot handle. As a result, you bite off more than you can chew, and put too much pressure on your system, continuing with working until it collapses. You are mentally exhausted and in need of a vacation. Still, you believe that you must continue working even though you have less energy with which you need to get everything done.
Fatigue because of burnout can be tested by doing this simple online test. This test shows your general level of stress, which lies behind the tired, exhausted feeling of fatigue, as well as behind its factors: tension, anxiety, or even depressive feelings. This test can help you to recognize the problem and, even in hindsight, follow your development after you, for example, have followed the online self-help program against stress and burnout. Give the test a try.
Paul Koeck, MD.