Psychology and Psychiatry

Emotional burnout

Emotional burnout is a syndrome that manifests itself in emotional exhaustion, which, as a result of its growth, can entail pathological changes in personality, social contacts, and cognitive functions. The concept is used when the emotional state of employees is characterized and is most often used in characterizing attitudes towards one's own work duties and activities.

In the clinical stage of development, when a person cannot do without the help of specialists, emotional burnout leads to complete indifference regarding his own work, the emergence of negativity regarding patients or clients. Relations with colleagues, self-perception, as a specialist, which turn into neurotic disorders, psychosomatic disorders that require stationary correction, suffer.

Professional emotional burnout occurs most often in areas of activity where constant concentration is necessary, the monotony of actions or the schedule with excessive loads are present. Also, such a deterioration of well-being is facilitated by low wages, especially if quite a lot of personal resources are spent - such a combination makes a person consider his activities useless.

The main category at risk of emotional burnout is professions related to people (psychologists, doctors, social workers, operators and consultants, managers, managers, etc.).

In the professional environment of working with people with increased risk or psychotrauma, emotional burnout can manifest itself as a psychological defense against excessive psychological overload and frequent traumatic situations. It turns out that only by reducing the sensitivity and personal importance of what is happening, a person is able to continue to do his own work. From here comes the thickness of the surgeons and the lack of emotionality of crisis psychologists, the silence of managers and the uncompromisingness of managers.

What is emotional burnout

Emotional burnout of employees is a condition that requires either a sufficiently long time or difficult working conditions to develop. At the first stages, everything passes unnoticed, the person is completely satisfied with the work and the atmosphere, is full of activity and ideas, but gradually the enthusiasm begins to disappear. This happens due to the fact that the energy level drops sharply, when continuing to invest, the employee does not receive adequate returns (visibility of results, praise, cash reward, etc.). Then apathy develops, lateness becomes more frequent, frequent diseases, usually of a psychosomatic nature, are possible, sleep and the emotional sphere are disturbed.

If you do not make the proper correction at this stage, the process becomes chronic - tardiness becomes normal, a large number of unfulfilled responsibilities accumulate, and fatigue and anger join the fatigue. This stage is generally accepted classical clinical picture of emotional burnout. A person has bad habits, character irrevocably deteriorates, the level of social intelligence may decrease. In communication almost always sounds rudeness, insults or coldness, along with indifference. The physical condition begins to seriously deteriorate, all chronic diseases are activated, and psychosomatics occurs. In that case, if you continue to ignore the problem, then there are serious violations of the psychological sphere (neurosis, cognitive decline, clinical depression, affective sphere disorders), as well as somatic problems (ulcer, hypertension, asthma, etc.).

Independently it is difficult for a person to assess his condition, especially in the early stages, it usually resembles prolonged apathy or seasonal blues, the only difference is that the symptoms constantly increase. These deterioration from the outside are more noticeable, if those around you and your relatives are able to objectively assess the situation, and not be offended or take statements to a personal account. The more assistance or preventive measures are provided at an earlier stage, the faster the return to activity and good mood with minimum time and effort.

Causes of burnout

Professional emotional burnout occurs under the influence of several factors, in the aggregate of its manifestations or during mono-effects.

Regarding personality traits, there is a relationship between the onset of burnout and the type of excitability of the nervous system. The more sensitive a person is and the less ability to abstract is developed, the higher the probability of losing interest in what is happening soon. Usually those who burn out are humanistically oriented, sympathetic and empathic people. Women, because of their emotionality, fade more often than men. Individuals who have few independent decisions in their lives and are forced to obey both at work and in personal life experience significant overloads, and their stress develops faster. At the same time, the results of the survey were obtained, where it was revealed that the desire of a person to control absolutely everything leads to general mental disorder as soon as possible. This is due to the application of a huge amount of effort in order to regulate the surrounding reality, while not taking into account the fact that all world processes are not subject to one person.

With initial tendencies to intensely experiencing and focusing on negative events, coldness in interaction with others, and the lack of motivation for emotional inclusion and impact in the profession, emotional burnout becomes a natural consequence.

High personal responsibility, perfectionism, the desire for impeccability make a person work at full speed, which ultimately leads to a rapid loss of strength. Idealization and daydreaming, inadequate assessment of one's own capabilities, as well as the tendency to sacrifice one's interests, needs and time for the sake of unpaid additional efforts, lead the personality into emotional imbalance.

In addition to personality traits, there are also prerequisites for the development of emotional burnout as a process of work organization and features of load distribution. So, with a clearly distributed responsibility, indicated by a uniform load, the emotional background stabilizes and the stress effect decreases. If there is no clear delineation of anchored responsibility or responsibilities are not evenly distributed, an internal protest of the situation develops, which develops into stress, the chronicity of which leads to burnout. Inadequate workload leads to burnout at the same rate as overload, due to the fact that a person loses the value and purpose of his work, internal emotional motivation leaves.

With a high level of competition within the team, the actions of which imply consistency, tacit hostility, gossip, mobbing and other negative aspects regarding the psychological climate cause the development of fatigue and a decrease in the value of work.

Personal aggravation of the contingent with which you have to work can cause aggravation. These include severe patients (cancer and hospice units, resuscitation and surgery), difficult adolescents serving a prison sentence, mentally ill, aggressive buyers, unbalanced children, and other categories that require high emotional costs for communication.

In addition to communication within the team and the distribution of responsibilities, destabilizing factors are the lack of necessary material support, work for a long time without interruption, the presence of bureaucratic situations and other issues that need to be settled at the organizational level. This factor is quite difficult to subject to correction on their own, but enterprises with frustrating conditions are famous for rapid staff turnover. Without thinking about changing domestic policy, in such structures one has to change the staff more and more often.

Each person, due to personality traits, has its own weaknesses, and, accordingly, moments that are more likely to lead to burnout. Knowledge of their own psychological characteristics will help to correctly determine the scope of activities, as well as to notice the symptoms of nervous exhaustion in time.

Symptoms of burnout

Symptoms of emotional exhaustion or burnout include not only mental and attitudinal changes. Primary manifestation of mental exhaustion, which looks like a decrease in affective reactions, an increasing manifestation of indifference, apathy. In the second place is the adequacy of self-perception or depersonalization - manifested in relationships with people, and specifically in the reaction to a certain group of people. There may be increased emotional dependence, negativity with respect to a certain category (by age, illness, reason for treatment, etc.) or the emergence of brazenness, rudeness, and rudeness when dealing with them. The next symptom of emotional burnout is a violation of self-assessment as a downward specialist (the number of self-criticism increases, the importance of their skills and the importance of their activities decreases, the possibility of career development is artificially underestimated).

There is intolerance to the comments and the people around them, as well as any changes, even those that promise better deals or development. A person perceives the arising difficulties as insurmountable, among the possible assessments of the development of the situation he sees only negative.

With respect to behavioral manifestations, maladaptation arises, the desire to avoid responsibilities and responsibility, the productivity of activity is low. There is a desire for social isolation and an attempt to cope with the emotional difficulties that have arisen with the help of drugs and alcohol.

From the side of somatic manifestations, the first bell is fast fatigue. At the same time, even a full-fledged long sleep can not restore strength and give a feeling of rest. There is muscle weakness and joint pain, frequent attacks of migraine, dizziness and increased pressure, a person may complain of constant tension. In fact, the muscles of an emotionally burnt person are in constant tension, since the main vital task in this disorder is to confront the environment. Immunity falls dramatically, the person often suffers from colds and infectious diseases. Sleep disturbance may manifest as insomnia, a feeling of fatigue at the moment of awakening, or disturbing awakenings in the middle of the night.

How to deal with emotional burnout

The important task of prevention is the ability to take a pause, as soon as there is a feeling of emotional or informational overload, you need to take a break, during which no new stimuli will flow. With a well-developed sensitivity to their own state, such breaks can last for about half an hour, and the state stabilizes rather quickly.

If a person has poorly established contact with his sensual sphere, overload may be more serious and it will take much longer to think about and live what is happening (from a few days to a possible unplanned vacation). It is necessary to change the situation, so even at the weekend it is worth trying to go to the neighboring city or to nature, but not to carry them out in a standard way. With a strong depletion, it is recommended to take a vacation, not regretting that he was at his own expense - being in a normal state, you can return the money spent quite easily, but without proper rest, the level of productivity will tend to zero.

It helps to communicate with other professionals of their profession who work in other places. You can share problems with them, learn other ways to solve or formulate problems, put a difficult situation in the form of humor. Understanding and support from people who understand the characteristics of the activity, while not having direct professional contacts with you can give the feeling that what is happening with you is not so bad.

Use any opportunity (one-day or semi-annual) for additional education or specialization. This will prevent monotony, bring diversity, help optimize activities through new approaches. In addition, any courses imply a temporary distraction from the main activity, which is a way of switching and emotional rest from the place of work.

Do not take work at home, do not advise friends on weekends and at the holiday table. If an emergency has occurred, it is better to linger in the workplace one day and finish everything, than to take the unfulfilled with you or stretch for a week. Limit communication with colleagues after work, stop the discussion of these topics when you go home - as soon as the working day is over, the work is finished with him.

It is necessary to monitor your own physical condition, to undergo examinations by specialists in time, to drink vitamins, to eat fully. The important point is the organization of healthy sleep and exercise regime. In addition to keeping fit, sports help to cope with stress.

Sign up for yoga or in the pool - it calms the nervous system and helps to feel relaxation. It is useful to go to a psychological group or personal consultations to a specialist, where you can splash out your negative emotions and learn independent relaxation techniques. It can be carried out before work day or immediately upon returning home to separate the work process from rest.

If you feel that interest in work is fading away, and it eats up a lot of energy, then it becomes necessary to optimize the workflow itself. It may be worth reviewing the schedule or re-reading your own job description, introducing new developments. The improvement of the working process includes the psychological moments of interaction, when you should not take on the tasks of your colleagues and strive to help everyone until your part is completed. Employees should be required to clearly meet the agreed deadlines, and if you notice that someone, regardless of the remarks, is late, adjust the date to an earlier date and get the result when necessary.

Arrange breaks in the work process is extremely necessary. Lunch in front of the monitor in the completion of the report is not a rest. In fact, saving half an hour, in the end, you will have to stay longer for several hours due to a decrease in the level of attention and activity. Establish a correspondence between how much effort you make and the reward you receive - it makes no sense to try, if it remains invaluable, it is better to spend this time educating yourself or obtaining additional certificates, fulfilling private orders and other options.

The main point in the fight against emotional burnout is to reduce speed in order to manage to notice life in all its manifestations and add diversity, while unloading, and not overloading your own schedule.

Preventing employee burnout

Preventive measures to prevent burnout syndrome require a person to take action in several ways. Regarding the situation at work, you need to distribute your workload as efficiently as possible, it is best to set a certain mode and rhythm so as not to be in a state of obscurity. It is better to alternate activities in their species - it is this kind of activity switching that helps not to fade.

Some issues in the treatment of burnout can only be solved with a specialist. If conflicts have begun in the team, or there is a decrease in self-esteem or an increase in the desire for perfectionism, then before giving yourself completely to these processes, it is better to take a single consultation.

Perhaps, in the process of psychotherapy, the individual will be able to find more concise and less energy-consuming ways of coping with the situation. Also there you can develop your stress tolerance and learn how to resist attacks.

In order to maintain a positive attitude, it is necessary to consider each situation from the point of view of emotional, material or temporary personal gain (quarreled with a colleague - you can not help her, the boss underestimates - you can not participate in the conference). The main thing here is not to go into the dreams, so the ability to set realistic goals is also important - the more they correspond to the terms and opportunities, the greater the number will come true. От уровня достижений напрямую зависит самоощущение человека и его уровень душевного спокойствия и положительной настроенности.

Since emotional burnout exhausts physical resources, it is very important to replenish them.

Develop a complete nutrition rich in vitamins and microelements; replace stimulants (coffee, chocolate, alcohol) with natural substitutes (ginseng, fruit, cereals). In order for the body to tolerate the resulting stresses it is necessary to adhere to the daily regimen, it is especially important to have a good sleep indoors with fresh air.

The day off from any work, time devoted to itself is surely necessary. There are no options when, during official weekends, a person works hard on freelancing (unless of course this is not a hobby, bringing in addition to money also spiritual satisfaction). At the end of the working week, as well as on particularly busy working days, you should be cleared of working thoughts so as not to take them with you to rest. Someone for this help the weekly frank conversations with friends, for another person optimal analysis of what happened on the records, someone will draw or express accumulated in a different work. The essence is not in methods, but in leaving work processes at work, and emotional experiences are not shorting, but rather released in any convenient way.