Feeling of physical and emotional exhaustion, due to stress from working with people under difficult or demanding conditions. Here are some of the signs of burnout to make it easier to recognize if you experience burnout:
Quickness to Anger-The burnout victim is so overburdened with stress that the slightest provocation may result in a sudden outburst.
Suspicious Attitude/Paranoia-The person suffering from burnout may feel as if everyone is out to make him or her look bad, either personally or professionally; this seems to gradually evolve from their pervasive feelings of anger.
Omnipotence-The burned-out individual acts as if they know it all, and they've seen it all; no matter the situation, they have dealt with it successfully in the past.
Risk-Taking-The "omnipotent," burned-out professional is much more prone to take risks. For instance, he or she may "take on" tasks that are much too complicated to assume on their own.
Depression-The burnout victim is often depressed by anything having to do with their job, be it getting up in the morning for work, getting started on time (they tend to procrastinate), or keeping commitments (they often will cancel client appointments).
Addictive Behaviours-When individuals are forced, on a daily basis, to deal with nearly unbearable stress, it is not uncommon to find an increase in the use of substances such as prescription drugs and/or alcohol among such individuals. Shopping, gambling, sex, and exercise are other addictive behaviours that burnout victims may resort to in attempting psychological relief.
Restricted Social Life-The burned-out individual tends to become overly preoccupied with work; a "normal" social life may be out of the question. He or she may over-identify with their job to the point of jeopardizing their own identity.
Cynicism-This may involve making disparaging remarks about work associates or clients to family and friends. Even more ominously, the burnout victim will often harbour strong negative thoughts and feelings toward fellow workers/clients while at work. In addition, they may lose track of job-related issues, and not even care that they did.
Somatic Complaints-The burnout victim may develop actual physical ailments as a result of chronic stress. Physical problems such as headaches, stomach ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, and hypertension are just a few stress-related illnesses that may develop.
Passivity-Leisure time of the burnout victim tends to be of the passive variety, such as watching television. Exercise regimens are abandoned; the burnout sufferer simply wants "personal time," away from the pressures of work.