Symptoms of a burnout


Burnout is the exhaustion of body and mind due to years of high work pressure or stressful (work) conditions. People who are perfectionist or ambitious run a relatively higher risk of getting a burnout. Similar complaints can also arise from stressful situations that have nothing to do with work, for example when dealing with a long-term relationship or family problems.


What are the symptoms?

Burnout occurs when all three criteria below are met:

1. Chronic stress

A. Chronic stress occurs when at least three of the following symptoms are present:

    • Fatigue
    • Disturbed or restless sleep
    • Irritability
    • Difficulty tolerating crowds or noise
    • Emotional instability
    • Worrying thoughts (e.g., about shortcomings or about the complaints themselves)
    • The feeling of being in a rush
    • Concentration problems and/or forgetfulness

B. Feelings of loss of control and/or powerlessness occur because stressful situations and/or people can no longer be managed or tolerated.

C. There is a major disturbance in their work or social functioning.

D. The complaints are not a direct result of another psychiatric disorder.

2. The complaints started more than 6 months ago.

3. Feelings of tiredness and exhaustion are paramount.


Although burnout often occurs at work, it does not always have to be work-related. In principle, any situation with high stress and an inability to manage it sufficiently can lead to a burnout. Some examples are students that deal with a high study load or care workers that are under high pressure.



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