What gives you euphoria


Causes & Symptoms

Causes: How does burnout occur?

There are many causes for developing burnout syndrome. Above all, the decisive factor is the attitude towards one's own performance at work and in everyday life. Typically there is a great need to meet one's own high standards as well as for appreciation and recognition. At the same time, those affected pay little, little or no attention to their own psychological and physical limits.

Personality traits that show an increased risk of developing burnout syndrome:

  • perfectionist attitudes
    ("I have to do everything right and 150 percent. I cannot allow myself to make mistakes. I am responsible for everything. I have to do everyone justice. I have to have everything under control.")
  • low competence expectation
    ("I can't do it after all. I don't have a chance.")
  • very pronounced need for harmony
    ("Everyone must be satisfied. I must not offend anyone. I must not say no.")
  • Conviction of being controlled from the outside
    ("I'm just a very small cog in the gears: Others determine me. I'm just a puppet.")
Over time, the frustration grows. Those affected only perceive their exhaustion when the mood changes from euphoria to resignation. A feeling of inner emptiness spreads. It hits some like a blow. The triggers include, among other things, excessive workload, high time and deadline pressure and a lack of voice and communication in the company. The first thing that friends and family usually notice is the increased irritability of the person concerned.

Symptoms: signs that should make you sit up and take notice

130 signs of burnout are currently known. The feeling of being “burned out” is particularly typical. Despite longer breaks or recovery phases, patients with burnout do not manage to get rid of this feeling.

Get help urgently if you have any of the following conditions:

Most common burnout symptoms:  
  • exhaustion
  • Lack of energy
  • persistent fatigue
  • sleep disorders
  • decreased performance
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Inability to make decisions
  • decreased initiative and imagination
Physical complaints:
  • more frequent colds
  • Muscle tension
  • sleep disorders
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest tightness
  • dizziness
  • Stomach and intestinal discomfort
  • a headache
  • Back pain
  • Tinnitus
  • sexual problems
  • sweat
  • fatigue
Other signs:
  • indifference
  • disillusionment
  • Tendency to cry
  • Feeling weak
  • restlessness
  • Loss of empathy
  • cynicism
  • Loss of idealism
  • bitterness
  • Relationship and / or family problems
These signs indicate an impending burnout:

Those affected tend to ignore warning signals. Be it because they actually don't notice the symptoms or they don't want to admit them. The process is gradual: It can take a long time for a burnout syndrome to develop fully. Take warning signs seriously and seek help.

Warning signals:
  • Feeling of indispensability
  • Feeling of never having enough time
  • Hyperactivity
  • can't say no
  • voluntarily unpaid overtime
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty in making decisions
  • Inaccuracies
  • Difficulty performing complex tasks
  • Daydreams (escape fantasies)
  • Dissatisfaction with one's own performance
  • decreasing friendliness
  • Feeling of a lack of recognition and appreciation
  • Lack of humor
  • Feelings of guilt
  • indefinite fear and nervousness
  • restlessness
  • self-pity
  • mistrust
  • Withdrawal from private contacts
  • Partnership and marriage problems
  • Sports accidents
  • increased alcohol consumption
  • increased tablet consumption
  • frequent checking of the time at work
  • reward yourself with purchases
  • increased conflicts with colleagues, superiors or students
  • Change in eating habits


Diagnosis: This is how burnout syndrome is diagnosed

As a rule, burnout patients first turn to a doctor about physical complaints such as insomnia, headaches or digestive problems. If this cannot find any physical causes, he will refer you to a specialist. Now it is a question of the exact clarification: burnout syndrome or depression? Migraines or headaches as a result of burnout syndrome? A detailed discussion is the most important element for an exact diagnosis.

Personal conversation

When talking to our psychologists, you can fully rely on our many years of experience. At the Schön Klinik we ask the right questions, read between the lines and can thus precisely distinguish organic diseases from burnout symptoms. We ask about all current complaints and deal with your personal attitude towards family and work. In this way, we can also diagnose existing secondary diseases such as depression or pain disorders.

Questionnaires support an initial suspicion

After the interview, if necessary, we also carry out psychological burnout tests supported by questionnaires. They can help to substantiate the impression gained in the conversation and to substantiate or refute an initial suspicion. Two types of certified questionnaires are mainly used at the Schön Klinik:
  • the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI)
    This self-description questionnaire contains 22 questions. You can use a scale to record how severely certain physical symptoms and moods are stressing you. With the help of this questionnaire, however, only an already existing burnout syndrome can be diagnosed.
  • Questionnaire on work-related behavior and experience patterns
    This questionnaire is a good prediction tool for an impending burnout syndrome. Your answers clarify your work commitment, your resilience to work stress and your current emotional state. This questionnaire also provides information on how you deal with difficult situations. Should burnout patterns show up here, we can work specifically on your behavioral patterns in the subsequent therapy.

Exclude organic causes

If the suspicion of an organic disease persists, our specialists will of course clarify this. Exhaustion and tiredness can also be symptoms of an underactive thyroid, chronic infection or tumor disease, for example. Examinations such as blood tests, ultrasound or other imaging procedures provide certainty.