Health and Wellness

Burnout Syndrome: Causes and Symptoms

Burnout Syndrome: Causes and Symptoms

Stress, anxiety, tiredness, lack of concentration, mental exhaustion, have you felt any of this during your workday? Do you know someone who has negative feelings about their job? Everything can be related to burnout syndrome or burnout syndrome, or burnout syndrome. 

Burnout is a term that derives from the expression “being burned” and in relation to work well-being it refers to that situation in which a person has a professional burnout that is reflected in a state of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion caused by the stress and anxiety that arises at work.  


In 2000, the World Health Organization recognized job stress as a risk factor. And it is that this situation can affect each person differently. For example, the WHO indicates that “it can lead to dysfunctional behaviors, contribute to poor physical and mental health; they can cause psychological problems, psychiatric disorders and end up in situations of absenteeism ”.

Only until 2019, the burnout syndrome was recognized within the (ICD-11) International Classification of Diseases, in its revision number 11. Thus, the WHO recognized the ‘ burnout syndrome or professional burnout ‘ as a pathology associated with mental, emotional and physical exhaustion caused by work. 


Its cause is not 100% determined, however, it is related to work-related stress situations that imply high exposure and demands on customer service, customer service, medical assistance and / or teaching.

Also with extended working hours , positions with high levels of responsibility, monotonous jobs, a terrible work environment, lack of communication, lack of work well-being programs, lack of motivation, problems with relationships at work, low pay, among others.


The World Health Organization defines burnout syndrome as a “syndrome resulting from chronic stress in the workplace that has not been managed successfully”. And it characterizes it by three dimensions:

  1. Feelings of lack of energy or exhaustion.
  2. Increased mental distance from work, or negative or cynical feelings about work.
  3. Reduced professional efficiency.

And it also emphasizes that “the occupational burnout syndrome refers specifically to phenomena in the work context, and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life.”


Likewise, there are also some warning signs that you must consider as a part of a clinical picture that will need the supervision of a doctor or psychologist.

  • Denial
  • Isolation
  • Anxiety, fear, or dread
  • Depression (the most common and dangerous sign as it can lead to suicide)
  • Anger, rage
  • Addictions
  • Changes in hygiene and grooming habits
  • Memory loss and disorganization
  • Changes in eating pattern, with exaggerated weight gain or loss
  • Difficult to focus
  • Personality changes, guilt, and self-immolation
  • Sleep disorders

In addition, the syndrome is classified into four levels:

Mild: vague complaints, tiredness, difficulty getting up in the morning.

Moderate: cynicism, isolation, suspicion, negativism.

Severe: slowing down, self-medication with psychotropic drugs, absenteeism, aversion, alcohol or drug abuse.

Extreme: very marked isolation, collapse, psychiatric symptoms, suicides.


Fighting the syndrome of professional burnout or burnout at work is possible. Companies and workers must each do their part. For example, companies should be concerned about the quality of life of their employees and implement workplace wellness programs, listen to them, promote a good work environment and implement strategies that allow them to detect cases in time.

Meanwhile, research indicates that workers can seek to follow a healthy lifestyle, avoid tobacco and alcohol, sleep the hours necessary for their rest and practice relaxation or meditation techniques, as well as physical exercise, dedicating time for activities such as hobbies and sharing as a family.  

In addition, psychological therapy may also be necessary, to help the person find tools and face situations that cause work stress. And remember that when it comes to wellness on the Collaborative Research Group portal we think of you.

The above content is for educational and informational purposes only and has been developed by referring reliable medical sources and recommendations from health experts. If you feel identified with any symptoms, described medical term or you are a patient,  we recommend you consult your doctor. 

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