Burnout - an opportunity for self improvement

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The term Burnout was first used in the 1970’s in the United States to describe an occupational pathology that manifests itself with a high frequency in social workers. Professional burnout syndrome is a state of very intense pressure, emotional, psychological or physical, in which the person experiences it through this tension in the workplace or by a failure at the professional and working level. The special characteristic is the rapid consumption of energy psychosomatic stocks and the reduction in professional performance. It is mainly due to the negative effects of chronic work-related stress on health and psycho-social factors. Nowadays, there is a lot of stress in working conditions, such as exhausting working hours which go beyond the human capabilities or exaggerated demands. In these cases, it is much easier for our body and our emotion to burn. The symptom of burnout is considered a particularly complicated situation. It is characterised not only by the objective and subjective factors that make up the trend but also depends on a variety of social and morphological variables.

According to Maslach the symptom consists of 3 individual dimensions:

Emotional exhaustion
It refers to the reduction of the emotions of the person, so that he can no longer provide emotionally to the recipients of their services. It is characterised by decreased energy, “emotional drying” and frustration with daily events, especially for health professions. One common symptom is that the person is afraid to see the prospect of having to go back to work the next day.
It refers to the negative and often cynical treatment of the recipients of his services, whom he often faces as objects. Typical symptoms are poor communication and rudeness towards others. A classic example is the cynical and negative attitude of criminologists towards inmates, which leads them to refer to the perpetrators with their number.
Decreased sense of personal achievement
It refers to the tendency of the person suffering from the syndrome to make a negative assessment of himself, especially with regard to his work and a general feeling of unhappiness and dissatisfaction as to the results of his work. Outwardly the person considers himself as “failed” and the low self-esteem levels are increased.


Symptoms that appear are the same as those of anxiety. Thus, organically, some symptoms may be intense fatigue, somnolence, muscle and/or skeletal pain, headaches, gastrointestinal problems, weak immune system. At the emotional level, the person may experience emotional exhaustion, lack of interest, negative / cynic mood, reduced self-confidence, remorse, guilt, irritability, alienation, isolation, mood disorders. In terms of behaviour, some of the symptoms are conflicts with colleagues and the family, reduced work performance, frequent absenteeism, inability to concentrate, frequent accidents and the use of alcohol and medicines.


The treatment and the ways of confrontation are made at an individual level and are differentiated according to the timely or non-recognition of the symptoms.

At a corporate level, emotional expression and supportive working environment with a strongly developed team spirit are referred to as the major burnout reduction factors. Particularly in times of uncertainty and change, social networking in the workplace plays a key role in protecting workers from burnout. Creating a team spirit in the workplace is a powerful defence against constant changes in the corporate world and promotes a workplace environment that is rewarding and meaningful to employees. It is important to emphasize teamwork and provide positive psychological feedback that is necessary for the worker to feel satisfied with his work. Sometimes it is necessary to change the workplace areas and tasks often in order to keep his interest in the job. However, these changes should not be overly frequent and should respect the employee’s qualifications (to avoid downgrades in practice due to change). Early recognition of depression as well as co-morbidity is critical because it leads early to complete cure.

On an individual level, everyone can see and wonder where he gives priority, how he claims what he wants, what goals he sets, how he accepts failure and success and if he can say “no”. By organising something that will help you avoid your thoughts from the “overloaded” present, is offered as an effective tool in dealing with burnout. Good sleep, balanced nutrition, redefining motives and goals are just a few ways to redefine our goals and motives in order to improve the quality of our lives.

Burnout syndrome might be an opportunity for a new beginning in life, don’t you think?