Burnout syndrome is a response to chronic or sustained stress which may be job-related, but there are many exceptions. This syndrome causes physical and mental problems that prevent you from maintaining your routine and lifestyle. The disorder is more common in women who are single or have a lack of family support. It also affects people recently hired more severely, so young patients (under 35) are most often affected.
Understanding the Burnout Syndrome
We all suffer stress at some point in life, but then why do some have Burnout and others don’t? This syndrome is the coalition of many risk factors with chronic exposure to stress in a toxic environment.
To explain it more practically, let’s approach it this way: we all have some resistance to stress, which we’ll call threshold, in some people it’s high, and for others, it’s lower. This threshold is forged from childhood, under the upbringing of our parents and the influence of our peers and the amount of work we have in our lives.
Several factors can affect that threshold: self-esteem, emotional resilience, illness, etc. It is those people who have the lowest threshold that are most often affected. Even so, in the case of burnout, there is always a clear trigger: overload.
Although it has been related more to the work environment, it is not exclusive to it. Almost anyone can experience burnout if they are under chronic stress. Typical examples are students, caregivers (family members) of sick people, and those working in high demand areas or toxic workplaces, etc.
The key “cause” of the burnout is stress, and there is no doubt about that. However, what makes some more likely to suffer from this syndrome than others? The answer is simple: the instability or deficit of their threshold markers. These factors are:
Self-esteem: Over 95% of those who suffer from Burnout have low self-esteem. Our susceptibility to stress seems to be determined in large part by our perception of ourselves. Do we feel we have control of our situations or the ability to set boundaries and make changes in our lives or do we feel powerless or useless?
Emotional Lability: Emotional strength is also a determining factor. Many people with burnout have disproportionate emotional responses, meaning your emotional response is not congruent with the situation.
Environmental Overload: Whether it is your job or your responsibilities, working hard every day without stopping and without enough positive rewards or reinforcement can lower your threshold for burnout.
Lack of Fairness: the self-perception that the “system” (whatever entity is governing your performance, such as your employer) is softer with some than with others also matters.
Ambiguity and Limbo: not being aware of what your goals are and not having ambition also contribute to the origin of this syndrome.
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