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Could you be burnt out?

Identifying Burnout: Key Indicators and Solutions

In today's high-pressure corporate environment, recognizing the signs of burnout is crucial for maintaining peak performance and employee well-being.

Burnout can manifest in various ways, such as a once-enthusiastic employee who now dreads the daily grind, or a recently promoted individual whose personal life is overshadowed by mounting stress, leading to decreased effectiveness and strained coping mechanisms. Moreover, even after medical leave prescribed for stress, some individuals find themselves in a prolonged state of distress, questioning their ability to recover.

As outlined by the World Health Organization, burnout is characterized by emotional exhaustion, escalating negativity, and a diminishing sense of accomplishment.

First recognized in the 1970s and 80s, burnout has been studied extensively, with Herbert Freudenberger outlining 12 stages of its progression:

  1. Excessive ambition/Compulsion to prove oneself: Ambition turns into an insatiable need to prove worth.

  2. Working harder/Overwork: Balancing work and personal life becomes impossible.

  3. Neglect of needs: Self-care takes a backseat to work obligations.

  4. Inner emptiness/Displacing problems: Personal issues are ignored in favour of work focus.

  5. Revision of values: Self-worth becomes solely tied to productivity.

  6. Denial of new problems: Outside interests diminish as work consumes attention.

  7. Withdrawal: Social isolation becomes common.

  8. Impact on others: Family and friends notice changes in behaviour.

  9. Depersonalization: Feeling disconnected from oneself and work.

  10. Inner emptiness: Loss of self-worth and drive.

  11. Depression: Work loses meaning and purpose.

  12. Full burnout syndrome: Physical or mental collapse, requiring medical attention.

Addressing Burnout: The Role of Psychotherapy

In confronting burnout, psychotherapy emerges as a valuable resource, offering individuals a supportive environment to explore underlying stressors and develop effective coping strategies. Through tailored interventions like hypnosis, therapy aims to disrupt negative thought patterns and foster a renewed sense of purpose and direction.

By bridging the divide between current challenges and future aspirations, individuals can reclaim control over their professional and personal lives, prioritizing their mental and emotional health.

If you recognize any of the stages of burnout outlined above resonating with your experience, consider seeking the guidance of a Therapist to embark on a journey toward creating the future you most want to live.

Michelle Smith of Minds of Distinction provides face to face appointments in Clinic in Bayside Melbourne or Online appointments Monday to Friday. Visit  to make an appointment.

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