Burn-out: How to protect yourself from burning out

Burn-out: How to protect yourself from burning out

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Sick from work: Burn-out affects people of all ages and professions

More and more people feel burned out due to the increasing workload and stress in the job. The so-called burn-out can affect people of all ages and professions. Health experts explain how to protect yourself from burnout.

Burn-out is recognized by the WHO as a disease

A few months ago it was announced that the World Health Organization (WHO) would recognize burnout as an illness in the future. In the revised international clinical-diagnostic guidelines, the ICD-11, which will appear in 2022, burn-out is defined as a syndrome due to "chronic stress at work that is not successfully processed". Univ.-Prof. Bernhard Baune, Director of the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the University Hospital Münster (UKM), explains in an interview who it can affect, what the causes can be and how you can protect yourself from burning out.

A clinical picture of modern society

As Prof. Baune explains, burnout is a disease that arises primarily in the context of working life. The disease affects all ages and professions.

Burn-out is essentially a clinical picture of modern society.

"In the past twenty years we have seen a change from a more physically demanding job to a mentally and mentally oriented work environment for many people," said Baune.

"The stress can be rather cognitive because high attention is required and many tasks have to be performed at the same time," explains the expert.

Workers who let too much be done with them

A burn-out can occur if the workload is particularly intense and there is no delimitation between working hours and leisure time.

Then the stress level is constantly high and does not decrease even at night. This leads not only to increasing disturbances of sleep, but also to general well-being.

According to Prof. Baune, a burn-out tends to affect people who are willing to perform and tend not to accept their own limits.

“But it can also affect people who may have poorer self-regulation. Who let too much be done in the workplace and always want to meet the expectations of others, ”says the expert.

Permanent availability via email, phone, WhatsApp or SMS is also a major problem, as this creates a high level of social pressure.

In this way, the expectation is suggested that one can also work outside of regular working hours due to the availability.

Typical symptoms

When asked about the symptoms, Prof. Baune explains that in the beginning there is often a subjective feeling of very strong stress: "You can no longer recover from the workload and do not treat yourself to free time."

Typical signs of burn-out are the aforementioned poor sleep and loss of appetite.

In the further course, symptoms similar to those of depression appear.

"But there are also other, more passive forms of burnout: For example, a kind of" internal dismissal "in the workplace. This may also mean a loss of performance or more and more absenteeism and sick days, ”explains Baune.

Prevention options

“I think it's important that everyone has an idea of ​​how you feel healthy and how you live healthy. In the physical as well as in the psychological-mental area, ”says the expert.

“This idea can help you to remember what it is like when something is no longer running smoothly. So if you normally do sports, pursue your interests and maintain social contacts, it is an alarm signal when things suddenly change, ”says Prof. Baune.

The social environment can also be helpful in the early detection of burn-out, since many sufferers are no longer able to reflect on their situation seriously and with consequences.

Prevention is even better. The German Federal Association for Burnout Prevention and Prevention (DBVB) in Munich had previously pointed out various prevention options.

The experts mentioned the identification and reduction of sources of stress, targeted relaxation (e.g. through progressive muscle relaxation, autogenic training, yoga, tai chi, qi gong), sufficient sleep, regular exercise, healthy eating and taking time out. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Video: Burnout and post-traumatic stress disorder: Dr. Geri Puleo at TEDxSetonHillUniversity (August 2022).