Ways to Support a Loved One Dealing with Burnout

BERLIN, April 15 (IANS/DPA) – When a relative or friend is suffering from burnout, they need your help. Burnout is the result of a long period of stress which negatively affects your wellbeing. While seeking professional help and being diagnosed is a first, important step, relatives and friends can also do their part to make things easier for the person affected.

Professor Petra Beschoner, a specialist in psychiatry, psychotherapy and psychosomatic medicine, emphasized the importance of understanding when someone close to you suffers from burnout. “People who suffer from burnout often react cynically and irritably, which can be very stressful for their social environment. Those affected also withdraw. However, this should not be seen as a personal offence, but as a symptom of burnout,” she advises.

Beschoner suggests that educating oneself about the illness and organizing professional help, not just for the affected person but also for themselves, is crucial in providing support. Many tend to believe that handling those affected by burnout delicately is the way to go. However, she explains that restricting autonomy may not be effective as burnout patients often define themselves by their responsibilities.

It is important to note that some symptoms of burnout overlap with those of depression. The diagnosis should always be made by specialists or psychotherapists with necessary differential diagnostic experience. The British National Health Service lists symptoms of burnout to include muscle pains, headaches, sleeping problems, weight gain or loss, and memory problems.


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