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  • Autumn Keller

Burnout is Real and it Has 5 Stages



The term burnout is relatively new, being coined in the 70’s, and because of that, older generations could potentially look over this experience or even invalidate it; ultimately leaving those suffering to continue to suffer and potentially feeling worse.


Burnout is very real, but you may not know how to spot it right away. According to NCBI, or the National Center for Biotechnology Information, burnout had three main symptoms which are exhaustion, alienation from activities and reduced performance.


Often burnout is associated with work, but I would like to mention it can stem from your course load for school as well, or even a combination of the two.


Burnout can also be broken down into identifiable stages as well.


1. Stage one, or what is often referred to as the honeymoon phase, is defined by high job satisfaction, commitment, energy, and creativity, the key issue is what patterns of coping strategies you begin to develop when facing the inevitable stresses of the job.

This stage feels the most normal, but often one cannot keep it up and slowly they enter stage 2.


2. Stage two, or what some refer to as the balancing act, is comprised of both the knowledge that some days are going to be rougher than others, in regard to stress management, and a noticeable increase in job (or school) dissatisfaction, inefficiency, fatigue, insomnia and forms of escapism.


3. Stage three, or what is defined as the more chronic stage, includes chronic exhaustion, physical illness (as a result of the stress), and anger or depression. Often it can be difficult to clearly define the separation between depression and burnout on your own and that is why professional help is needed to ensure that you can receive the proper treatment.


4. Stage four, referred to as crisis or burnout in its fullness, is when the symptoms become critical. The symptoms may increase, you may become obsessive over issues relating to the root cause, you have increased self-doubt and the escapism is now a developed mentality.


5. Stage five, or what some call enmeshment or habitual burnout, is when the symptoms of burnout are so embedded into your life that others looking from the outside would only see the physical or emotional outliers and your case of burnout would be likely overlooked.


Do you think you are experiencing burnout? Take this as your sign to take pause and reflect on your mental health and evaluate if you need to reach out. And if you are in a good head space and would like to leave some words of encouragement below for our readers who may be experiencing burnout, please do so. #mentalhealthmatters



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