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Burnout definition

Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental fatigue. The phenomenon of burnout is not an independent disease, but a combination of several factors.
Gradually people completely outspend themselves and loose, as a result, not only the interest in their (professional) tasks, but feel totally empty – they are burned out.

Burnout usually develops over months to years, in stages in a continuous process of physical, emotional and mental exertion.

The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), the international standard for burnout measurement describes the main facets of burnout in three levels:

  • Emotional level: Emotional exhaustion
  • Cognitive level: Depersonalisation
  • Behaviour level: Reduced productivity

These warning symptoms of burnout can escalate over time into physical complaints, such as muscle pain, concentration problems, sleeping problems, headaches, balance disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, irritability, depression, etc.