Why Burnout Happens

Why Burnout Happens

Authored by Pin Ng PhD

Edited by Hugh Soames

Reviewed by Michael Por, MD

What is burnout?

Burnout is a graphic term used to describe a state of being that includes mental and physical exhaustion. Although burnout is not an official diagnosis, it is widely accepted as an accurate description of a real phenomenon.1https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6424886/

Those who suffer from burnout feel that they no longer have the resources or energy to do what they used to do, or do it at the pace they did.2https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2158244017697154 They may still want it, but neither can they make the person feel depressed or alienated. Lack of motivation, loss of interest in work, and even lack of physical activity can make a person feel depressed, alienated, or both.

Why burnout happens: the signs

Entrepreneur burnout is the embodiment of acute and seemingly unresolveable work related stress. According to the Harvard Business Review, about 50% of people suffer from burn out. Entrepreneur burnout syndrome is real and in severe cases, can be life-threatening.

In fact, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises burnout as an official medical diagnosis in its International Classification of Diseases (ICD).

According to Physis Recovery There are three common characteristics of work-related burnout:

  1. Feelings of low energy and exhaustion
  2. Increased mental distance from one’s job; or feelings of negativity
  3. Reduced professional capacity

People at risk of suffering from burnout tend to isolate in uncertainty, without adequate support networks.

Entrepreneur burnout manifests affects a person’s mental and physical well-being ranges from minor illnesses and mild depression to mental breakdowns, heart disease and sometimes death. It’s a condition that needs to be taken seriously as it can have a devastating impact on a person’s life.

Is it burnout or depression

Burnout and depression may have similar symptoms, but they are actually two different ailments. Burnout is caused by chronic stress related to work, caring for family members and raising a family. Experts disagree on how to define burnout, as it can have a wide range of symptoms.

Why burnout happens is thought to be caused by chronic stress relating to work and some main symptoms have been identified. These are:


  • Exhaustion – Emotional or physical exhaustion and the inability to cope due to lack of energy. Physical symptoms may include body pain or digestive issues.
  • Feeling alienated from work-related activities
  • Reduction in performance


Depression has certain symptoms that burnout doesn’t usually exhibit, including:


  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Suicidal thoughts


Those suffering from depression and burnout often find that taking time out to attend a depression rehab will lead to a full recovery and at the very least remission from symptoms for an extended period of time. A luxury depression rehab may also reduce an individuals reliance on traditional pharmaceutical solutions to burnout and depression.

References: Why Burnout Happens

1. Ahola K., Hakanen J., Perhoniemi R., Mutanen P. (2014). Relationship between burnout and depressive symptoms: a study using the person-centred approach. Burnout Res. 1, 29–37. 10.1016/j.burn.2014.03.003 []

2. Bianchi R., Laurent E., Schonfeld I. S., Verkuilen J., Berna C. (2018c). Interpretation bias toward ambiguous information in burnout and depression. Pers. Indiv. Differ. 135, 216–221. 10.1016/j.paid.2018.07.028 []

3. Cherniss C. (1980). Staff burnout: Job Stress in the Human Services. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications. []

4. Eurofound (2018) Burnout in the Workplace: A Review of Data and Policy Responses in the EU, Publications Office of the European Union. Luxembourg. []

5. Freudenberger H. J. (1974). Staff burn-out. J. Soc. Issues 30, 159–165. 10.1111/j.1540-4560.1974.tb00706.x []

6. Katkat D. (2015). Level of Anxiety and Burnout among Martial Athletes into 17th Mediterranean Games. Anthropologist 19, 673–678. 10.1080/09720073.2015.11891702 []

7. McKnight J. D., Glass D. C. (1995). Perceptions of control, burnout, and depressive symptomatology: a replication and extension. J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 63:490. 10.1037/0022-006X.63.3.490 [PubMed] []

8. Samios C. (2017). Burnout and psychological adjustment in mental health workers in rural Australia: the roles of mindfulness and compassion satisfaction. Mindfulness 9, 1088–1099. 10.1007/s12671-017-0844-5 []

9. Toker S., Biron M. (2012). Job burnout and depression: unraveling their temporal relationship and considering the role of physical activity. J. Appl. Psychol. 97:699. 10.1037/a0026914 [PubMed] []


Chairman & CEO at Remedy Wellbeing | Website | + posts

Alexander Bentley is the Chairman & CEO of Remedy Wellbeing™ as well as the creator & pioneer behind Tripnotherapy™, embracing ‘NextGen’ psychedelic bio-pharmaceuticals to treat burnout, addiction, depression, anxiety and psychological unease.

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