HomeMental HealthBurnout Is a Big Deal

Burnout Is a Big Deal

© pathdoc | Shutterstock

Source: © pathdoc | Shutterstock

In a post here by Yoo Jung Kim entitled Burnout Is Not Depression, Jessi Gold of the Washington University School of Medicine states that she considers burnout a stepping stone to, but distinct from, depression. Gold explains that unlike depression, which may be caused by many different triggers, burnout is related specifically to the workplace. It is also a risk factor for depression. She adds, “Having burnout doubles your chance of having suicidal thoughts.”

So many of us are burnt out right now as evidenced by the “great resignation,” in which 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November 2021 alone. What exactly is burnout? As defined here, it is “a state of emotional, mental, and often physical exhaustion brought on by prolonged or repeated stress. Though it’s most often caused by problems at work, it can also appear in other areas of life, such as parenting, caretaking, or romantic relationships.”

There are days when I feel burnt out and I ask myself: What gives you the right to feel burnt out? I tell myself I’ve been at my job less than a year and my commute is from my bedroom to my living room with a detour to my bathroom. Lately, some days I don’t even make that detour to my bathroom to use the shower. Who can tell over Zoom, with one of those backgrounds, and when I use headphones.? That and curly hair hide a multitude of sins.

But there are days I love being at work and the day flies by and I’m engaged with my clients. So which is it? Gold explains that depression is much more a constellation of symptoms, including change of mood and interest, and can even include suicidal thoughts.

Yesterday, I had a long list of stuff to accomplish after work (on Saturdays, I work a half day) and when I got home after I went to the bank, which was non-negotiable because they’re not open on Sunday (yes, I have heard of ATMs, but my mother told me never to deposit cash into those machines), all I wanted to do was sleep and/or watch YouTube videos — and I did both. My mood sucked so I went to sleep early and now I’m up super, super early, struggling to write this post — and have it make some sense. My rescue dog, Shelby, is sound asleep beside me as she is every night and I think, Why can’t I sleep like her? Is it burnout, depression, or both?

Thanks for reading. Andrea

© Andrea Rosenhaft

Source: © Andrea Rosenhaft



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