Burnout

The year 2019 is nearing its end with many of us feeling drained, stressed and challenged on many an area of our lives. It has been another very demanding year for all South Africans. Many of the patients I see daily struggle with their energy and general mood with their sense of well being something few of them fool good about. There is fine line between feeling tired most of the time, uptight, struggling with sleep now and then and being on the verge of or already being into a full burnout

If your tiredness makes it difficult to get out of bed, dragging yourself through a normal working day with every muscle not wanting to move, you have to be on the lookout for the signs of burnout.

The presence of severe exhaustion on an emotional and physical level with a cynical lack of interest in your work compounded by feelings of uselessness and ineffectiveness in what you do and achieve, are all red lights that intervention is needed.

Feeling drained physically and mentally with a don’t care attitude towards work, almost hating it and a feeling of low self-worth soon leads to depression. Although burnout is a job-related phenomenon it is very connected with depression

As burnout sets in, the overwhelmed feeling increases so does rattiness and irritability towards co-workers and people around you.

Sleep most of the time becomes a huge issue, especially falling asleep and staying asleep in the first part of the night. The big problem that burnout causes directly and indirectly through lack of sleep is trouble with concentration and forgetfulness which further aggravates the feelings of not being effective or worth something Getting less than 7hrs uninterruptedly may evolve into heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney problems.

Physical symptoms that are associated with burnout is frequent headaches with muscle spasm in the neck. The gut usually presents with symptoms of pain, bloatedness and a change in stool patterns. The stress coming with burnout can weaken your immune system leading to more infections and minor illnesses.

Comfort eating and drinking of food, alcohol, or drugs to feel better may be a symptom of job burnout. This can be serious. Obesity, or alcohol and drug misuse, can lead to all sorts of health problems.

Research has found that burnout can trigger both absenteeism and presenteeism (which means coming to work even when you’re sick). And it works the other way. All those sick days and feeling crummy while you’re at work can lead to more burnout.

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