job burnout

                How to identify job burnout?

In medicinal language burnout is translated into “professional exhaustion”. Burnout is the ultimate and catastrophic step of stress, Patrick Légeron, psychiatrist and Stimulus director (Consultancy Company for professional stress) declared.

Even if this ache is hard to define and to estimate, burnout is said to reach 10 to 15% among employees at more or less developed stages. This phenomenon does not occur without warning. A period of long-lasting stress arrives ahead of this ultimate step and as a result ends up in psychological and physical exhaustion. “When the emotional capital is spent then a dehumanization of the person comes”.

First detected by professional facing emotional situations such as nurses, policeman, fireman... burnout expands to all categories of jobs nowadays.


Precursory symptoms

First signs particularly violent and frequent reveal a high degree of stress. These signs could be characterized as follow: beats, clammy hands, digestion difficulties, sleeping disorders, excessive consumption of tobacco and alcohol or intensified emotionalism.

Those signs, according to Patrick Légeron are an alert and should be taken seriously because at this stage you are still able to reverse the situation. Human being is complex machinery which sends signals when reaching a critical point of “overheating”. It is part and parcel of managers’ role to respect these precursory symptoms.


Physical symptoms

Once the extreme stress period gone, a contradictory period of lethargic state follows which characterizes burnout. Signs include:

  • Difficulty to recover fatigue even after a week-end or a sick-leave week.
  • The feeling that your body “does not answer any more” and encounters a huge difficulty to carry any physical effort such as walking upstairs. 
  • Sleep lost .
  • Food disorders: Whilst being stressed you usually eat more but in case of burnout you have a lack of appetite.
  • An exceed consumption of stimulants like tobacco, alcohol or medicines.

These signs add to normal signs of stress. According to Patrick Légeron “We recognize in someone affected by burnout the same symptoms as in stressed persons but in a chronic way”


Psychological symptoms

The second scope of burnout is mental related. The psychological energy is exhausted which induces a lack of energy and of motivation. An apathy declined to all stages appears:

  • The same person who had excessive emotions does not feel anything anymore towards his environment.
  • Self-Depreciation, useless feeling. This is the main component of burnout.
  • General uneasiness accompanied with re-assessment about family and social lives. A cold relationship to his environment leading to a robot behaviour.


How to cope with burnout?

Depending on the stage of burnout the person reaches, it is possible to get through burnout. Patrick Légeron warns “burnout term is to be used with precaution because a real burnout involves incapacity to work”. As a consequence a sick-leave is the first thing to do. “We cannot for any reason keep a long-suffering person in his working-environment” Patrick Légeron adds.

Then comes a long-lasting period of treatment and psychotherapies, but even after recovering one major issue remains: going back to work. The self-esteem is difficult to get back.

Source: Le journal du net – French online newspaper


Mr. Obriot advises to manage stress and to prevent from burnout:

  • Re-arrange spare-time slots during your day dedicated exclusively to you.
  • To practice relaxation exercises (yoga, sophrology...).
  • To withdraw exciting drinks (coffee, tea, coke...) from your diet.
  • To adopt minerals, vitamins and trace-elements enriched diet (fresh-fruits, almonds, raw vegetables...) .

To supplement these actions, we advise you to: