Conditions Physician

How to know you are having Burnout.

I am truly afraid – we take quite a lot of things for granted. Burnout is one of them.

How can we explain this concept in a manner that is real and relatable to everyone who cares to listen?

Over the last one year, I was burntout about three times – I had to keep tabs because i hate the feeling.

This is my experience, a personal one – it should help you. Before you go on you should know that burnout is tightly connected to the violation of basic human rights of junior doctors by senior colleagues.

Burnout is a Medical condition that afflicts many professionals, career men and women. This is not stress or too much stress – it is worse than stress.

Usually, there is a trigger for the Burnout (something that is burning you out) – most people are unble to identify their trigger. Coming out of burnout depends so much on identifying this trigger and addressing it urgently.

This is what Burnout feels like;

Burnout puts its victim in a state of helplessness. You exist but you are devoid of your essence – of what makes you tick. Try as much as you could, it is gone. You work, but it really does not matter if progress is made.

You are sapped, drained and emptied of vigour and will. It make you forget things on the lower rung of your bucket list, though they are equally important. Burnout keeps your blood stream laced with worthless feelings of hopelessness, rejection, inefficiency, and ’emotionless’.

Like a personal inferno, it consumes you – but you cannot cry out for help. Friends or family could come around and be with you, but it is like a thin transparent barrier that prevents you from reaching out for help.

Burnout creeps on you like a sly cat – till it let out its long talons to cause it’s harm. I remembered the first episode clearly – I was in my paediatric rotation – it was my first posting as an intern. Sincerely, i was not sure if i would survive that incident.

The work was overwhelming – clinical rounds, presentations and all. It was not pain I felt – no word readily come to mind. I was new in town, with no friends in the department or hospital. Work was all I knew!!

It became clear that I had to do something to help myself, even though I felt the overwhelming need to keep things to myself. Some deal with stress in their own unique way; for others their way fail.

Then I REACHED OUT.

Social contact is nature’s antidote to stress and talking face to face with a good listener is one of the fastest ways to calm your nervous system and relieve stress. I found that i just needed to talk to a person.

I chose a fellow House Officer who is a good listener and a talker – though she was not able to “fix” your trigger/stressors; she listened attentively and was able to help me analyse what the trigger is.

But here is my advice to you on how to pull out of burnout;

Reach out to those closest to you, such as your partner, family, and friends. Opening up won’t make you a burden to others. In fact, most friends and loved ones will be flattered that you trust them enough to confide in them, and it will only strengthen your friendship. Try not to think about what’s burning you out and make the time you spend with loved ones positive and enjoyable.

Be more sociable with your coworkers. Developing friendships with people you work with can help buffer you from job burnout. When you take a break, for example, instead of directing your attention to your smart phone, try engaging your colleagues. Or schedule social events together after work.

Limit your contact with negative people. Hanging out with negative-minded people who do nothing but complain will only drag down your mood and outlook. If you have to work with a negative person, try to limit the amount of time you spend together.

Connect with a cause or a community group that is personally meaningful to you. Joining a religious, social, or support group can give you a place to talk to like-minded people about how to deal with daily stress—and to make new friends. If your line of work has a professional association, you can attend meetings and interact with others coping with the same workplace demands.

Find new friends. If you don’t feel that you have cool friends who can help you in your new place in life, you can get a few more trusted buddies.

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Dr E
The Admin is a Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria Certified Medical Doctor, with profound expertise in Medical Content Creation and Medical Citizen Journalism. He is popular for being a fast-rising online voice in Nigeria, with a flair for animated writing. He is a professional health content writer. He loves to swim, read and play board games. He sees himself as one who is destined to play a role in the way health services are rendered to the human race.
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