Burnout syndrome - Gabriela Šivic Burnout syndrome - Gabriela Šivic

WHO RUNS THE RISK?

The loss of ideals is the first sign pointing to burnout syndrome. In the beginning, the affected individuals feel enthusiastic about their new job, they enjoy it and identify themselves with the new tasks, team of colleagues, etc.

The loss of ideals is the first sign pointing to burnout syndrome. In the beginning, the affected individuals feel enthusiastic about their new job, they enjoy it and identify themselves with the new tasks, team of colleagues, etc. Working overtime is considered fun at first, as they see meaning in it, feeling it helps to fulfil the initial ideals. As time passes, difficulties start to grow, ideals begin to collide with realit ´y showing that not all things are the way one has imagined. The fact that not all things are going well may lead to a loss of trust in one´s own capabilities and a loss of the job´s meaningfulness. The support of friends, work team, family, as well as the individual´s character and his/her ability to cope with this conflict play a very important role here.

Workaholism is the second symptom of burnout syndrome. A workaholic is a person addicted to his/her job, suffering from an obsessive inner need to work excessively hard which is increasingly more demanding in terms of time and energy. Soon the affected individuals start lacking energy. The terror of opportunity is the third symptom. Every new offer is considered to be an interesting and attractive opportunity, which would be a pity to lose. However, later it is clear that to meet all the unfinished commitments consumes all time and energy. With time, the disability to make concessions may lead to burnout syndrome. In this case, the individuals lack the ability to organize their life, have a fading contact with reality, lack the ability to estimate how much time certain tasks may take, and in some cases, also lack the ability to refuse or say no. Nevertheless, it is not only excessive work or loss of ideals that lead to the syndrome; in addition to the aforementioned inability to say “NO” to further tasks or responsibilities, it is also the long-term permanent pressure of demanding tasks, or high demands that the individuals place on themselves which makes it more difficult to share work with colleagues or subordinates. Another symptom is the effort to accomplish too many goals at once over an extended period of time. Last but not least, it is necessary to stress that giving too much emotional support for a longer period of time plays a significant role as well.