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Burnout Syndrome : Defintion, Causesm, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Sunday, July 29th 2012. | Disease, Mental Health

Burnout Syndrome Definition

The burnout syndrome is characterized by a general state of exhaustion, both mental, emotional and mental, the “batteries are empty” and the subject is no longer able to recover over short durations. This burnout is accompanied by a series of symptoms.

The growing number of unemployed and the fear of losing his job promoting the onset of symptoms of stress and burnout. Like many occupational psychologists have found, burnout has become a buzzword. For this reason, the real symptoms are often ignored and assumed too late. Without treatment, the syndrome can lead to serious medical conditions such as depression or physical illness.

Causes of Burnout Syndrome

Long, burnout is not exclusively under stress syndrome. Rather, it occurs in almost all occupations and activities. Experts tell us that the risk of burnout exists even in part-time workers, but is often not diagnosed in this context.

The causes of burnout are many: lack or excess stress, too little or no compliments, feeling “of being treated badly,” loss of social contacts, sense of loss of control and conflict of values.

The burnout syndrome rarely affects one person in the workplace, experts say

Burnout syndrome

Burnout Syndrome Risk Factors

People who approach their work with great enthusiasm and high spirits and are very demanding themselves are particularly threatened. To achieve all the goals they set for themselves, these subjects neglect their families, their partners, friends and leisure. This is why the initial enthusiasm often turns into a feeling of general exhaustion.

A survey of the barometer concerns conducted in 2004 in Switzerland, the concern of losing his job ranks first with 69%. This fear is reinforced by the stress of the workplace. This stress in turn can produce symptoms of burnout and mobbing (bullying).

Burnout Syndrome Chronic conflict

There may be some serious conflict, harmless from the outside, affecting either the private or professional sphere, which were never resolved. Apparently hopeless situations such as bullying at the workplace or neighborhood conflicts can cause burnout or isolation of the subject.

Over time, these constraints weaken the immune system and are considered the triggers of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

Other causes of chronic overload of the immune system:

  • Chronic infections by fungi, viruses or bacteria.
  • Toxic: in industrialized countries, the man is daily exposed to a multitude of toxic products, which, over time, weaken the immune system. Experts cite more than 1500 different substances.
  • Toxic substances in building materials (wood, wallpaper).
  • Pesticides, preservatives.
  • Heavy metals in the water and air

Burnout Syndrome Symptoms

  • State of general exhaustion and depression over an extended period.
  • Exhaustion dominated morning: the subject is hardly able to stand and would sleep all day.
  • General lassitude, that affects leisure, family and partner.

Somatic Symptoms

  • Headache, insomnia, digestive disorders.
  • Muscle spasms, joint pain.
  • Febrile state (chills, general malaise)
  • Sleep disturbances (insomnia or increased need for sleep)
  • photophobia
  • Cognitive impairment and difficulty concentrating, memory problems
  • Irritability
  • States of confusion

A key feature of the burnout syndrome is that symptoms develop over a prolonged period and that the subject is hardly ever able to recover. Thus, even during holidays and vacations, the symptoms do not improve. Even after the efforts of low intensity, the subject is unable to recover.

Burnout is often described as a stage of exhaustion. This implies the risk that only the external symptoms are supported, then the process is likely to prolong or worsen and eventually lead to depression.

Burnout Syndrome Diagnosis

  • Detailed history taking into account the patient’s symptoms; questioning of Career and Family.
  • Laboratory tests to exclude infection or allergy.
  • Analysis of dietary habits to exclude nutritional deficiencies.

Burnout Syndrome Treatment Options

Treatment depends on the causes and must be tailored to each patient. Self-medication with sleeping pills are likely to lead to drug dependence, is strongly discouraged.

  • Chronic infections : antibiotics or antimicrobial treatment for infection by viruses or parasites.
  • Toxic : toxic chemicals must be removed by abundant drinks and cures of sweating.
  • Dietary deficiency : dietary supplements can quickly compensate for the lack of vitamins or minerals and boost the immune system. During a dietary consultation, the patient learns to eat healthily.
  • Psychological problems : solving problems often requires the intervention of an expert. The first party may be either an occupational psychologist or the physician.

One of the golden rules: listen to his own body. Therefore getting enough sleep, eat healthy, physically active enough, to keep time for yourself, take breaks during work and learn to say no.

Burnout Syndrome Possible Complications

Burnout is often presented as a stage of exhaustion. The result is the risk that only the symptoms are supported and the process continues or worsens. In the long term, serious illness such as depression may occur.

Burnout Syndrome Preventive Measures

The burnout syndrome can be prevented by adequate sleep, a balanced diet, plenty of exercise and possibly, meditation or relaxation techniques. Moreover, the variety and social interaction contribute to a better balance between work / stress and relaxation / recreation.

To improve the employment situation, the organization of work should be well defined (missions, explanation of process); states of overwork and lack of work will be better distributed. Speculation about a possible job loss may well be set aside at once.

In the interest of the company and the employee, anonymous questionnaires should be distributed regularly to employees for potential risk factors for the syndrome of burnout within the company.

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