February 16th, 2017

What are the main differences between burnout and depression?

Distinguishing the difference between depression and burnout is sometimes difficult because they both share some of the same symptoms, such as:
• concentration problems
• memory problems
• Sleep problems
• Mental and physical exhaustion

The difference between depression and burnout:

Burnout is generally defined as a total exhaustion of energy whereby you are incapable of doing anything because your body and mind are lacking energy and have been pushed for too long. Burnout is mostly work-related.

Depression, however, is a mood disorder and occurs in many different areas of life such as family, friends, hobbies, self-esteem etc.

Depression and burnout can occur at the same time, and it's not unusual for burnout to evoke depression-like symptoms.

Characteristics of a burnout:
- A slew of work-related complaints that has been going on for a prolonged period of time.
- The person experiences a decreased sense of professionalism.
- Feelings of cynicism and alienation.
- An increased irritability that is quickly followed by exhaustion and fatigue.

This imbalanced state of the autonomic nervous system then manifests itself in various symptoms, such as excessive sweating, insomnia, palpitations or general anxiety and fear.

The main features of depression:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Weight loss
- The depressed mood is often worse in the morning than in the evening
- Unrealistic feelings of guilt, hopelessness, and dispair
- No zest for life

Would you like to find out more? Don't hesitate to give me a call.
Lieve Plasch - Lic. Psychology

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