Burnout is a very common form of mental illness that needs to be treated seriously. One of the biggest hurdles with burnout is that the sufferer is likely to be an 'A' type, driven-personality who is least likely to admit they have a problem, because they feel that it would be a sign of weakness to admit defeat. So they continue to rely increasingly on old methods or to seek new coping mechanisms - rather than take the appropriate prescription.
Burnout is just as prevalent amongst doctors as it is amongst other professions. Dr Dike Drummond writing for The Happy MD points to an article in JAMA that reports that one in three Physicians are suffering burnout at any one time. He goes onto describe burnout as a three-fold ilnness:
1. You have lost your normal energy (Physical health)
2. You are no longer compassionate (Emotional health)
3. You no longer see the point of what you do (Spiritual health)
For these reasons it is more likely that a friend or loved-one will do the research and take the necessary action to recommend that the 'indicated person' receives some form of intervention or takes the necessary steps themselves to get help. The person suffering burnout is often in too much psychological and sometimes physical pain to be able to see past their own problems and understand the pain they are causing those nearest to them, (if they could, they probably would).
One of the best sources of online information on burnout is helpguide.org in this article, they describe the symptoms of burnout and summarise the 'burnout recovery strategies'. Three top strategies are described, but the Number One strategy is:
"When you’ve reached the end stage of burnout, adjusting your attitude or looking after your health isn’t going to solve the problem. You need to force yourself to slow down or take a break. Cut back whatever commitments and activities you can. Give yourself time to rest, reflect, and heal."
Can't Afford Treatment? .. think about it
Of course, persuading someone suffering from burnout to accept this medicine is another matter altogether, but they have to be helped to realise the importance of treating their condition seriously. The prescription will feel 'counter-intuitive' to them and the 'Catch 22' is that more counter-intuitive it feels, the more they are likely to need appropriate care. The point that people suffering burnout need to understand is that the losses caused by the condition are far higher than any dubious benefit gained from attempting to soldier on. The losses will be in terms of emotional wellbeing, relationships, jobs as well as personal finance.
Rehab expert Jef Mullins
describes this phenomenon in his article, 'Thinking of Recovery'. He says, "We tend to prefer something that is a known bad
to something that is an unknown good
. Life may be painful, but it represents something that we have survived so far."
Provided the sufferer can be persuaded to accept help, the next challenge will be one of 'engagement'. Everybody's problems are different, there may well be broad groups and types but we all have unique psychological profiles and so a 'one size fits all' approach to treatment for burnout is not likely to succeed. Engagement is personal. It therefore imperative that whatever treatment centre is sought that it offers a full range of psychological and therapeutic expertise.
A boutique luxury recovery
centre is likely to offer the most personal service, however, it is probably best to ensure that this centre is also linked to other international centres of excellence with access to internationally acknowledged expertise - providing the full range of medical and therapeutic approaches. In this way an effective treatment is most likely to be found and the decision could be the best investment made.
Sometimes the advice to take time out to find yourself again and heal, is advice you really cannot afford to ignore.