4 Signs You've Reached Burnout

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Burnout. It’s a simple term, meaning a point at which a person simply cannot take any more pressure or stress. Burnout might be reached due to pressures in personal lives, work lives, or an unpleasant combination of both. There’s no threshold for what constitutes burnout; it’s individual for each person who experiences it.

Perhaps that is why burnout is so difficult to recognise when it happens to yourself. You might be able to recognise burnout in other people, but that doesn’t mean you see it happening on a personal level. One of the issues that burnout causes is a general lack of awareness; even awareness of your own personal thoughts.

To try and make recognising burnout easier, here are four signs that you have reached your limit.

1. Anhedonia

Anhedonia is a mental disorder that many people with burnout experience. It’s defined as “the absence of happiness”; not only are you unhappy now, but you can’t ever imagine being particularly happy in the future. Frequently, this is not a particularly distressing thought for those with burnout. It’s a sign of feeling trapped in a hamster wheel and just going through the motions, never expecting to be able to run free again.

2. Dangerous Behaviour

When someone is suffering from burnout, they sometimes display dangerous behaviour that may be threatening to their health. This can take many forms, from alcohol abuse to substance abuse that results in needing to seek addiction treatment for drugs. The destructive behaviour might even be simple things like breaking the speed limit while driving. Most people suffering from burnout turn to these destructive behaviours as, primarily, a cry for help -- so hopefully, you can learn to recognise that cry for yourself.

3. Lack Of Engagement

If you are burnt out, then it will become progressively difficult for you to engage with the world around you. This might start out small -- cancelling plans to see friends, or postponing a holiday you had otherwise been looking forward to -- and develop from that point onwards. People who experience burnout tend to feel constantly overloaded. As a result, they try to keep their social life as sparse as possible; you may find yourself needing time alone more often than usual.

4. Easy To Anger

Finally, burnout is most recognisable for what it does to a person’s temper. Essentially, your temper is on a hair-trigger. If you find yourself snapping, shouting, or losing your temper over very minor incidents, than burnout might be the cause. A frayed temper is a sign that your mind is panicking at the idea of having to process something new; it’s still tied up with the other problems that are dominating your thoughts. If you are suddenly quick to anger even over small issues, then this should be a concerning change.

Remember: If you think you are experiencing burnout after reading the above, evaluate your life and speak to a medical professional. You’re not alone and what’s more, you can recover from this. Good luck. 

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