Definition of Burnout:
The term “burnout” comes from English and means “completely burned out.” It refers to a lasting psychological state characterized by stress, fatigue, weariness, and even exhaustion, leading to self-disgust and a sense of disillusionment with oneself and others.
It most often occurs in a professional context but can also happen in the family environment.
If you believe you are experiencing burnout, I can help you overcome it.
Symptoms of Burnout:
Burnout is characterized by a series of often associated symptoms:
Individuals experiencing burnout feel chronic and intense fatigue. Phrases like “I don’t have the strength (to get up, to go to work, to do what I need to do),” “I’m at the end of my rope,” or “I’ve had enough” frequently recur in their testimonials.
This exhaustion often results from a situation in which the person is forced to work or act beyond their capacity for too long. For example, an employer or a leadership role demands more energy than they have to give, or their family or social role becomes overly demanding.
Burnout is often accompanied by a deep sense of disgust toward the situation causing it.
The mere thought of having to relive the same painful situation repeatedly leads to bitterness, cynicism, and discomfort. Individuals experiencing burnout feel repulsed by their professional, familial, or social context, as well as by their employees, superiors, colleagues, family, to the point of becoming irritable and even aggressive.
This disgust can escalate to suicidal thoughts like “I need to end this” or “It has to stop.”
As a means of self-protection, individuals experiencing burnout detach themselves and develop a sense of indifference toward what previously mattered to them. For example:
An overworked lawyer who used to fight to help her clients now lets deadlines in court cases pass.
A teacher who no longer has time to grade hundreds of papers assigns grades somewhat randomly, without even reading students’ work.
A singer who used to perform regularly stops attending rehearsals and delivers poor performances.
A previously diligent and responsible business owner accumulates neglect and refuses to address daily issues.
A capable and committed nurse becomes cynical and mistreats others due to constant shifts, micro-aggressions, lack of rest, and recognition.
Types of Burnout:
Professional burnout is the most common type. It has become one of the main psychosocial risks in contemporary workplaces, often exacerbated by abusive management styles, especially in large companies with thousands of employees.
However, it can also occur in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) struggling to survive during economic crises, the COVID pandemic, or high inflation.
In some cases, an already stressful professional life can worsen due to harassment, sidelining, demotion, or violence.
Parental Burnout and Mental Load:
The role of a parent can lead to burnout:
Single Mothers or Fathers:
Single parents raising their children alone and also having to work to provide for the family are exposed to burnout.
They often lack time and energy to fulfill all their roles. All it takes is one or more minor life accidents—a illness, a car breakdown, a temporary lack of money—for the person to lose their footing.
Women’s Mental Load:
In a society that remains unequal in many ways, many women experience an overwhelming “mental load,” combining their roles as mothers, partners, wives, family members, social life, household chores, work, material concerns, and bodily challenges (painful periods, migraines, etc.).
The accumulation of all these burdens leads to exhaustion, and women find themselves unable to fulfill any of their roles.
A Psychologist Can Help You Overcome Burnout and Regain Control of Your Life and Health:
If you are experiencing burnout, a psychologist can assist you in recovering and taking control of your life and well-being.
Whether you are located in Brussels/Auderghem or prefer remote consultations, a psychologist is available to listen to you, help you give yourself permission to rest, break free from the oppressive situation, regain confidence, and make choices to protect your health, well-being, and freedom.