สาเหตุ อาการ และการรักษาภาวะหมดไฟ (Burnout syndromes)

Burnout syndromes

Burnout syndromes, or job burnout, is a condition in which a person suffers from ongoing accumulated emotional exhaustion from work-related stress and pressure that is out of control and

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Burnout syndromes

Burnout syndrome, or job burnout, is a condition in which a person suffers from ongoing accumulated emotional exhaustion from work-related stress and pressure that is out of control and cannot sidestep. As a result, a person may feel depleted of energy, worn-out, weak, discouraged, have a negative attitude toward their jobs, or be unhappy at work, affecting their ability to work effectively and to maintain relationships with those around them. In addition, long-term burnout also has mental and physical effects, including stressful illnesses, insomnia, depression, or other illnesses, as well as feelings of isolation and other antisocial behavioral issues.

What is burnout syndrome?

Burnout syndrome is caused by the accumulation of work stress over some time until a person becomes exhausted, which affects mental and physical health. The World Health Organization (WHO) has registered and approved burnout as a new disease that occurs among people in the modern day, particularly in such hurried and stressful working environments, causing a feeling of exhaustion, a loss of energy, and a lack of motivation to work and live. Individuals suffering from burnout should seek treatment and therapy with an experienced specialist to identify the source of the issue and collaborate on finding the best possible solutions.

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What causes burnout syndromes?

The primary causes of burnout syndromes are excessive work pressure and negative interpersonal interactions that have accumulated over time, leaving people unable to handle their tasks well and resulting in chronic emotional stress, which could be due to a stressful work environment, a heavy burden of responsibility, or long working hours that lead to burnout. Burnout syndrome is divided into three main groups of symptoms as follows:

  1. Emotional exhaustion: a loss of energy, fatigue, and exhaustion after work.
  2. Depersonalization: a sense of alienation from other people; having distant relationships with colleagues, supervisors, team members, or other people in the workplace or external people they have to interact with; feeling indifferent, lifeless, and having no bond to the person or organization at work.
  3. Low self-esteem: feelings of inadequacy, unworthiness, inefficiency, and decreased productivity at work; negative attitudes toward the job; difficulty solving problems; and a sense of incompetence, a sense of failure at work, a lack of motivation to keep working to succeed, and finally job burnout

What are the symptoms and warning signs of burnout syndromes?

There are three symptoms and warning sign domains of those with burnout syndromes, including:

  1. Emotional symptoms such as feeling stressed, exhausted, weak, unrefreshed, lacking enthusiasm, sad, discouraged, hopeless, depressed, easily irritated, easily angry, neglected, dissatisfied with work, feeling unhappy at work, having no goals at the job, not wanting to come to work, and wanting to quit the job
  2. Have a negative attitude, such as pessimism, paranoia, a negative attitude toward colleagues, blaming a co-worker, anxiety, problem-evading, and seeing themselves as incompetent, inefficient, and incapable of dealing with work-related issues.
  3. Behavioral manifestations, such as isolation behavior, acting distant or withdrawing, preferring solitude, paranoid of others, mood swings, or acting impulsively, lacking concentration at work, lacking enthusiasm for work, being unable to manage work, arriving at work late, feeling exhausted

What are the complications of burnout syndromes?

How many stages of burnout symptoms?

According to Miller & Smith (1993), there are five phases of symptomatic burnout, in which work burnout gradually develops over time as follows:

  1. The honeymoon phase is the first few months of most people's employment, during which they have the energy to work hard and try to fit in with the company and work environment. It is a phase where a person can handle pressure from work.
  2. The awakening phase is when the person starts to feel the expectation of work and may be disappointed when they discover they cannot handle the work in the organization. There is an imbalance in the workplace between workload, compensation, and recognition, which leads to employees feeling guilty about their work assignments and being unable to manage.
  3. The brownout phase is the first stage of burnout, characterized by irritability, withdrawal from colleagues, grievances, negative workplace criticism, and the possibility of developing an alcohol addiction.
  4. Full-scale burnout: The characteristics of this stage are extreme exhaustion from work, feelings of discouragement, hopelessness, loss of confidence, the sense of failure to manage tasks, performing poorly at work, or lack of enthusiasm for your job.
  5. The Phoenix phenomenon: If individuals suffering from burnout syndromes have access to rest, stress management, or medical therapy to help them find a solution to the problem, including modifying their way of thinking positively and balancing work and life, they will be able to return to work and life with renewed energy.

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How to treat and prevent burnout syndromes?

  1. Consider different options for resolving the issue, discuss with the supervisor and colleagues a plan to balance your workload, cut back on unnecessary tasks, and set priority to work toward the objectives successfully.
  2. Ask for help and support: Ask for help at the office from your supervisor, co-workers, friends, or your loved ones; having support at work can help you cope with the issues. Additionally, it enables colleagues and managers to address the disparity in responsibilities and make necessary adjustments to bring about the balance.
  3. Exercise or try relaxing activities such as physical workouts, meditation, yoga, watching movies, or listening to music. Regular exercise can also help those with burnout syndromes divert their attention from work to other interests, such as recreation, sports, or other activities that can renew and refresh the body's energy. Regular exercise can also help individuals handle stress well.
  4. Get enough sleep: Getting a restful night's sleep helps the body recover from fatigue and regain energy. Healthy sleeping promotes well-being and contributes to the long-term development of a healthy physique.
  5. Mindfulness and meditation, focusing on the in-and-out breaths, and being mindful of every sensation, thought, and action will help calm your mind, unwind your stress, and prevent you from getting distracted, as well as fine-tune your mindset or negative attitude toward works, organization, supervisor, or co-workers. Talk out the feelings of stress, pressure, and optimism that lessen positive attitude and self-esteem to a confidant.

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Self-development, finding inspiration, and working toward the goal can extinguish burnout syndromes.

An experienced medical professional should provide treatment to a burnout individual, listening to your problem and helping find a solution before the symptoms worsen and cause severe stress that affects your work, people around you, and your daily life, possibly leading you to become an introvert, antisocial, and eventually depressed.

The best possible remedies for burnout syndromes are controlling stress, letting go of negative thoughts, calming the mind, asking for help in finding solutions, learning to think positively, enhancing management skills, finding inspiration, setting goals at work, considering the pros and cons of quitting the job, and discovering the true purpose in life, can help extinguish burn out and live in the present with happiness.


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Published: 31 May 2023

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