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Stress vs. Burnout and Depression

 Feeling stressed  is like a bright yellow warning sign.  It cautions you to slow down, reflect and re-chart your course.  Stress often causes difficulty sleeping resulting in fatigue and lessening of your coping skills.  Stress can result in Burnout and Depression  if it goes unchecked.

Symptoms of Stress Include:

  • Frequent or sustained feelings of fear, anger, sadness, worry or frustration
  • Changes in appetite, energy, desires and interests
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping and/or nightmares
  • Physical symptoms such as headaches, pain, stomach problems and skin rashes
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Increased use of tobacco, alcohol and other substances
We typically think of Burnout as related to work stress.  More recently it has been defined as "a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive or prolonged stress."  It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained and unable to meet constant demands.  COVID is a perfect storm for Burnout with a reduction in the work force and people working from home while simultaneously caring for a family and trying to maintain a healthy marriage.

Signs and Symptoms of Burnout Include:

  • Sense of failure and self-doubt
  • Feeling helpless, trapped and seeing yourself as defeated
  • Loss of motivation
  • Increasingly cynical, negative outlook and a need to distance yourself
  • Decreased creativity, satisfaction and sense of accomplishment
  • Exhaustion, emptiness and inability to cope with everyday life
  • Personality traits such as perfectionism and pessimism can contribute to burnout

The symptoms of Burnout and Depression are similarDepression can also cause:

  • Chronic low self-esteem
  • Lack of self-care and self-motivation
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harm
If you are exhibiting symptoms of depression or burnout for a prolonged period of time, be sure to speak with your doctor or seek help from a local clinic or from national hotlines listed below:
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration1-800-622-HELP (- 4357)
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  1-800-273-TALK (- 8255)
  • Crisis Text Line:  Text  741741


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