What is Burnout?
Burnout is a state of extreme mental, physical e emotional exhaustion due to intense, chronic stress.
The World Health Organisation considers burnout a syndrome, since it is characterised by a set of different mental and physical symptoms that are simultaneously triggered.
There are many different definitions and approaches to this issue. The name and clinical definition were developed by Dr. Herbert Freudenberger, a German psychoanalyst who saw himself and many of his patients displaying extreme fatigue and frustration to the point of not being able to function at work or home for long periods of time.
"If you have ever seen a building that has been burned out, you know it’s a devastating sight… some bricks or concrete may be left; some outline of windows.
Indeed, the outer shell may seem almost intact. Only if you venture inside will you be struck by the full force of the desolation."
Dr. Herbert J. Freudenberger, Ph.D
German psychoanalyst who developed the clinical
definition of burnout.
- Physical and emotional exhaustion
- Feelings of cynicism and detachment
- Ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment
- Physical symptoms (and illnesses provoked by low immunity in chronic stress)
From Sherrie Bourg Carter, Doctor of Pshychology, on Psychology Today. Learn more about accepting you're burned out.
An overachiever is someone who goes over and above the standard or expected level of effort and achievement, especially at an early age.
What differentiates an overachiever from a highly talented person or a high performer, for instance, is the motivation behind their seek for greatness. The overachiever believes their accomplishments will fill an emotional void and that they are defined by it.
Overachievers tend to be perfectionists, and they are specially prone to burning out.