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Is Burnout A Psychological Disorder?

With the accumulation of pressures from the modern world often driving huge pressure on our emotional wellbeing; it’s easy to become overly stressed to the point where it affects our day to day life. This is referred to as burnout. But is burnout a psychological disorder that can be diagnosed as a mental health problem? Here, we look at what causes burnout, the signs and symptoms of burnout, whether it’s a psychological disorder, and how you can treat burnout.

What is Burnout? 

It can be hard to determine when you are suffering from burnout or just a severe period of stress. So what is burnout? A burnout is labelled as a state of mental, physical and emotional exhaustion that is caused by excessive and prolonged stress levels. This most often occurs in individuals that have been overwhelmed with emotion and stress for long periods of time; to the point it begins to hinder their day to day life. Burnout can also be known as adrenal fatigue, leaving people unable to properly function both physically and mentally. 

What Causes Burnout? 

Burnout can be caused by a number of influencing factors, such as: 

  • Excess levels of prolonged stress
  • Difficult personal periods
  • Work and life imbalance
  • Pressures at work 
  • Too many responsibilities 
  • Energy draining schedules with no time to relax
  • Lack of social, physical and emotional support
  • Low fatigue
  • High anxiety levels

Signs of Burnout

The signs of burnout usually begin gradually and build-up to the point that the sufferer is no longer able to function at their usual level both mentally and physically. Signs of burnout can begin to occur following stressful events, such as; loss of loved ones, financial troubles, high-pressure work environments and breakdowns in relationships.

Signs of burnout include, but are not limited to: 

  • Feelings of hopelessness and negativity
  • Intense fatigue and feeling drained
  • Signs of cynicism 
  • Mental and physical exhaustion
  • Reduced overall performance 
  • Detachment from priorities and relationships 
  • Alienation from social activities 
  • Anxiety during work
  • Inability to concentrate and focus
  • Migraines and stomachaches
  • Lack of creativity

Burnout Symptoms

Burnout can have a substantial impact on the mental health of an individual. This can lead to an array of mental, emotional and even physical burnout symptoms that occur as a consequence of burnout and overwhelming stress. 

Mental Symptoms of burnout include, but are not limited to: 

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Memory loss
  • Exhaustion 
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disorders
  • Professional and social dissatisfaction

Physical symptoms of burnout include, but are not limited to: 

  • Muscle tension
  • Dizziness
  • Sexual problems
  • Chest tightness
  • Perspiration
  • Tiredness
  • Migraines
  • Tinnitus
  • Person deterioration 
  • Weakened relationships

Is Burnout a Psychological Disorder?

Given the significant signs and symptoms of burnout and the impact that burnout can have on an individual; it is a legitimate psychological diagnosis that is now medically legitimised. Over previous years, burnout was not considered as a mental disorder for those who claimed to be suffering from extended periods of intense stress. 

Due to the intense external pressures of the modern world and the stress that this brings, burnout is one of the most commonly discussed mental health problems in today’s society. Excessive demands on resources, energy, and overall strength can lead to significant mental impacts if not dealt with appropriately. 

How is Burnout Treated? 

As the source of burnout is caused by intense, prolonged stress levels; a burnout treatment programme’s focal point surrounds better stress reduction, with the goal of helping you to feel yourself again. The treatment of burnout also includes teaching sufferers of specific techniques to ensure future stress levels can be minimized and handled in a better manner. In turn, this dramatically reduces the current level of stress whilst reducing the possibility of burnout recurring in future. 

Private Burnout Treatment With Brevin 

What should you do if you’re suffering from burnout? The answer isn’t always simple. Although certain techniques can be self-taught to help manage stress levels, this has proven in a multitude of cases to often be insufficient. Burnout sufferers can suffer from a severe dip in quality of life, happiness and can be left feeling completely helpless. 

That’s where Brevin come in, our private live-in and home treatment mental health services can help you to recover from your mental health problem. Specifically, our burnout treatment programme seeks to help you find yourself again through a number of stress management methods. If you feel like you need help with burnout, then contact a friendly member of our team today to begin your road to recovery. 


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