World Mental Health Day and Understanding Burnout

This year’s World Mental Health Day (Oct 10) comes at a time when many of us are experiencing heightened levels of stress due to the pandemic. As the days go on, more and more people are finding that they are struggling with mental health issues that they had never experienced before, and many people are becoming burnt out from the continual stress placed upon them. Below is a brief overview of what burnout is and how to recognize it.

What is burnout?

Burnout is an extended period of stress that feels like it will never end. In most cases, a short burst of stress is expected and is usually tied to a specific goal. If a stressful situation continues, feelings of emptiness, apathy, and hopelessness can be an indication of burnout.

Types of burnout

Most people associate burnout with work stress, but parents, partners, and caregivers also frequently experience exhaustion, feeling overwhelmed by their responsibilities, and may believe that they are failing in their assigned roles. Non-work burnout is less well-known and is often related to the stereotypes and expectations that are imposed upon us by society. Those dealing with non-work burnout often feel as though they are personally to blame for the challenges they face and may try to hide their struggles for fear of being judged.

Recognizing burnout

The difference between stress and burnout is a matter of degree, which means that the earlier you recognize the signs, the better able you will be to avoid burnout. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should consider seeking the advice of your doctor or a mental health professional.

  1. Signs of physical and emotional exhaustion
    1. Chronic fatigue
    2. Insomnia
    3. Forgetfulness/impaired concentration and attention
    4. Physical symptoms such as chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and gastrointestinal pain (which should all be assessed by a doctor)
    5. Increased illness
    6. Loss of appetite
    7. Anxiety
    8. Depression
    9. Anger
  1. Signs of cynicism and detachment
    1. Loss of enjoyment
    2. Pessimism
    3. Isolation
    4. Detachment
  1. Signs of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment
    1. Feelings of apathy and hopelessness
    2. Increased irritability
    3. Lack of productivity and poor performance

Are you feeling burnt out?

The Therapy Centre has skilled Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychotherapists who effectively treat a variety of issues that may develop into burnout including fears, health anxiety, relationship issues, work stress, and caregiver concerns.

At The Therapy Centre we are now offering Telehealth services including secure phone sessions and videoconferencing as well as in-person sessions.

Our offices are located at 2525 Old Bronte Road in Oakville and 849 Upper Wentworth Street in Hamilton-just minutes from the QEW and easily accessible from Peel Region, Halton Region, Halton Hills, Stoney Creek and Niagara Region.