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Is This Depression or Burnout?

Is This Depression or Burnout?

Today we will talk about a topic that is on the rise. People are experiencing more feelings of tiredness or being overwhelmed. They are voicing that the hobbies that used to be fun and interesting to them, they no longer enjoy. Small things are causing them to blow up emotionally. The fuse seems to be burning at both ends. Can you relate to these feelings? There are common symptoms between depression and burnout but today we will try to distinguish some characteristics that could help identify the differences. Are you thinking that you are hopeful there is help? Keep reading, you are not alone.

What is Burnout?

Burnout is typically correlated to people and their jobs. It is easy to push ourselves to accomplish targets and promotions or to appease our boss. But at what cost? Our minds and bodies are not designed to perform and think and solve at such compact, fast rates. The human mind is powerful and amazing, but it has its needs. Like our bodies, our minds need some quiet and some rest.  Without those we can enter in burnout. It often feels like our brains are short-circuiting. Like it cannot process and perform all the tasks that are required. This spills over into our lives outside of work in different ways. Below are a few examples that could affect our lives when we are experiencing burnout.

  • Reduced productivity
  • Increased mistakes or forgetting
  • Insomnia
  • Lack of compassion
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Things that interest you aren’t fun
  • Thoughts spiral through tasks
  • Symptoms improve when you are away from what’s burning you out

While some of these will be similar to the below symptoms of depression, there are key differences. Burnout symptoms will often come and go. You may feel a dread on your way to work or a spike of excitement to leave. Depression is different and we will talk about that below.

Is This Depression?

Depression can have some similar symptoms but there are key differences. Fatigue is a symptom that most with depression will report. Unlike other things that can take a toll on our bodies, depression symptoms don’t seem to ease up. This can lead to deep feelings of hopelessness or sadness. Depression can truly affect the quality of life the person has as well as relationships. Depression can last for months with no real break and make it hard for a person to carry on the needed tasks to live. Below are few examples of how depression could look in our lives.

  • There is no joy in life or interests
  • Deep feelings of hopelessness
  • Energy is often very low or non-existent
  • Trouble thinking or remembering
  • Issues sleeping
  • It is hard to eat, even the things you enjoy
  • Craving for things we use to cope such as food, alcohol, drugs or pornography

Symptoms of depression can be serious, and this blog post cannot diagnose or fully help you. Whether your symptoms are from burnout or depression, when they affect your lives and the ability to thrive, you may need to seek help. If you find yourself quietly quitting and need help getting back on track, we are here to help.

What Can Help Burnout?

Each of us will go through times where life seems too busy or overwhelming. At those times, it is important to recognize our needs for some down time, or fun. Incorporating ways to refresh our minds and restore some balance is necessary for us to maintain our health. Regardless of what brings us to the place of feeling burnout or depressed, the things below could help. Do you need to take a step to incorporate something different into your life? Something that can help restore some mental balance?

  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Balance time with people you enjoy vs. alone time
  • Have physical activity each day
  • Eat more nutritious foods and stay hydrated
  • Take a mental health day and do something enjoyable
  • Be gentle with yourself, we can’t go full force all the time
  • Journal
  • Set boundaries to protect your needed down time
  • Add quite time with deep breathing in your car rides
  • Do something that makes you happy

Seasons where it is hard for us to carry on, is hard. If you find yourself in this season and you have tried to incorporate things to improve your health, but you are struggling, we are here to help. You are not alone.