A burnout is a psychological term for being extremely exhausted or burned out.
A burnout is a combination of these three symptoms:
- Physical and Emotional Exhaustion
- Diminished Self Confidence
The term burnout only exists since the early 70’s last century.
It’s good to know that not every scientist uses the same criteria to define a burnout.
The exact symptoms may vary from person to person but the overall situation of a burned out person will match the above-mentioned criteria.
One of the clearest symptoms of burnout is exhaustion.
You will literally feel like you won’t be able to get out of bed. Like you can’t move your arms or legs.
This goes for your mind as well.
Your brain is lost in a foggy cloud. Like there’s just nothing in there anymore.
Thinking goes slowly and you will lose track of your thoughts.
Your battery is dead and won’t charge anymore.
You are extremely tired and can’t focus your brain on anything.
Even watching your favorite TV-show is impossible.
This can happen from one day to the other.
Of course, the road to burnout is long.
But the extreme exhaustion may strike you like lightning.
You show signs of cynicism towards your job, your employer or your colleagues.
You build a wall between your job and you and it might seem like you have lost your bond with your job or your colleagues find out here.
Like you don’t care anymore. About anything.
This may happen at the early stages of burnout but it can also happen in a later stage of your burnout.
What often happens is that you try to hang in there for as long as you can.
Because stress and burnouts are for wimps only, you will deny all of your symptoms for as long as you can.
Until exhaustion strikes you.
And even then, you might still try to fight it and stay engaged at your job.
Until the battery dies.
And then, after it all sinks in, you become cynical towards your job and colleagues.
3. Diminished Self-Confidence
On the road to burnout, lots of functions of your body and mind will start to deteriorate.
Your ability to concentrate and perform complicated tasks will cost you more and more energy.
You will start to make mistakes.
You will forget things like appointments, agreements, and other important stuff.
Your brain will feel fuzzy.
Like there’s a big foggy cloud hanging around it and you’re the only one in it.
You fail to understand what it is that colleagues want from you.
Things that used to be so easy become more and more complicated.
And while you try to hang in there, your self-confidence walks out the door.
Shame will prevent you from talking about your problems and this will make you feel like you are the only person in the world going through this.
After all, stress and burnouts are for wimps.
And you are no wimp! Or are you?
It’s not weird to lose your self-confidence in a burnout.
Actually, when you look at it, it’s perfectly normal.
Your mind and body fail you like never before.
When you’re used to winning and always succeeding at everything that’s a big issue.
It will take a long time to restore your self-confidence.
But it can be done.
Wrapping it up
Well, these are the three official symptoms of burnout as defined by Christina Maslach.
Do you recognize yourself in one or more of the above-mentioned symptoms? Please contact your doctor.