It’s time to tell about my depressive episode. Don’t think it’s easy for me. Even though burnout is increasingly diagnosed today, it is still a taboo subject. What should friends, family, acquaintances, colleagues, ex-colleagues and -employers think? What if everyone then only saw me in this light?
I had these concerns for a long time. Today I come to the conclusion that in the end it is a disease like any other. Only that no plaster is to be seen, the nose does not run, but the head just does not play along.
A good year ago, I would have been very happy if I had been able to find on the Internet an real, honest and detailed experience report found. Maybe that would have accelerated my path, d. h. made me realize faster that I was in a burnout long ago.
You’ll learn my story in this post so you understand where my insights come from. I also want to tell you about the symptoms I had at that time. I hope they don’t sound familiar to you. When I did, this article might answer the question in the back of your mind: "Do I have a burnout??"
How it came to exhaustion
In 2011, I quit my job in Leipzig and went back to college for a master’s degree. This did not cost me much overcoming, because I liked studying and student life. Because of my relationship at the time, I decided to commute. It was certainly step 1 into exhaustion. I was partially more than one and a half hours each way On the road.
I was often stressed when I arrived home after half an hour by bike once across town. Riding a bike may be relaxing, but only if you don’t have to fear for your life in urban rush hour traffic.
From then on, it felt like it was constantly going downhill. The then Living situation additionally annoyed me. There was an ignorant house management that didn’t want to do anything about mold in all the rooms, and tourists who strolled by in front of the terrace and gawked into the living room shielding their eyes with their hands.
Student job and other construction sites
When we moved by necessity, the next effort was on the horizon: the Relocation and some expansion works, as we moved into a former attic. The occupation during the semester break was thus set. My commute to college shortened a bit, but it was during this time that I landed another project: a Student job.
I was immediately with full commitment and also got a lot of tasks at the same time. Of course I also felt honored by it.
By the fall, I was hardly ever home. My assignments would not let me go. Along the way, I finally had to get my master’s degree as well.
With the waning sunlight, strength and energy left me. Winter was hard. I was increasingly More numb, unbalanced, and certainly hard to take. With much diligence I fought against the mountains of tasks and always thought to myself: "Once I … get it done, it will be better."
So I shimmied from week to week. Surprise: It did not become less work. Why also? I ended up doing my thing well.
Final spurt Master
Soon it became apparent that I had secured a job at the university. To get the job, all I had to do was to show my Accelerate master and finish in July – instead of September.
So I gave everything and wrote my master’s thesis in half the time. I was at least able to get a 10-day vacation during the correction phase of the master’s thesis. But after that it started immediately. Ten minutes after my defense I learned my new tasks. After a few days, the first business trip was on the agenda. Pre- and post-processing immediately took over my life.
Within a very short time, I was as deep in work as if I had been employed for years. I enjoyed it, too, but my strength was fading noticeably. Sometimes I was so stressed that I didn’t go to the bathroom for eight hours. Sometimes I ran in the hall to save time. Sometimes I could have screamed because I was so overloaded.
I got up in the morning and could have cried. A certain hopelessness spread, because I saw no end to this high performance phase.
After another long business trip, the year and I were at our wits end.
New year – no new happiness
I started 2014 with just as little energy as I had ended the previous year. I also hardly managed anything anymore, because I I could not concentrate. If I read something for half a minute, I felt I had to do something else.
I couldn’t sleep, my work seemed pointless and doubts were spreading, whether such a life was worth living. Of course, my exhaustion also affected my social relations. I simply lacked the strength to take care of my relationship and friends. I also talked only about my work and my problems. Constantly doubting how long I would be able to keep this up.
If you doubt whether you are suffering from burnout, below are the symptoms I had. In any case, I would advise you to be more to be advised by a professional (family doctor and psychologist).
15 symptoms that point to burnout
All these months were overshadowed by an unbelievable Lack of strength and drive. Even doing laundry seemed unimaginably exhausting to me. I put it off as long as possible. I felt the same way with calls, errands, cleaning, cooking, doing the dishes, even taking a shower.
I could think of nothing but work in my free time. Most of the time I came back to my (really nice) apartment after some overtime, sat motionless on the couch and after a few hours went to bed to lie awake for a few more hours. My Thoughts circled around the tasks and problems at work.
My mood was permanently in the deep freeze. Even when watching TV shows like The Simpsons I couldn’t even grin anymore. In general I had Hardly any emotional movements. No joke, no joyful news, no words of encouragement could create a feeling of joy in me. Often I was in a bad mood and sad, although I could not give an explicit reason. Several things always came together, but I could not always explain them exactly. The closest I could get to crying was during sad movies, but overall I was as emotional as a paperweight.
My work seemed pointless to me, because I pedaled and pedaled, but it did not become less. My Free time seemed pointless to me, because I could not enjoy it.
When I realized that my strength was close to zero, I went into a protective energy-saving mode by warding off all "superfluous" activities. I said more and more: "I can’t possibly take care of it." For example, I predicted months in advance that I wouldn’t be able to take care of a birthday party.
Thanks to my Negative-Filters everything seemed bad to me. No matter what happened. I only talked about my problems when I talked to someone on the phone. Problems and upsets at work were high on the agenda. Today it seems almost unbelievable to me how much time and energy I spent on it.
In order to feel less alone with my worries, I sometimes tried to say to my dragging down the person I was talking to. So I tried to make myself feel less bad. It might work for the moment, but of course not in the long run.
Insomnia I had for months. Some nights I did not sleep at all. My mind carousel spun and spun.
Often my day was over the moment I set foot on the floor in front of the bed. I was absolutely annoyed.
In exhaustion, I withdrew – as I’m sure many others did as well. To gain strength, I skipped meetings and birthday parties. It was a fallacy, because friends are still the most likely to help you out of the depressive episode (or prevent you from slipping into it). But the Withdrawal reflex Prevents this.
Just before I was taken out of circulation, my Productivity towards zero. I could hardly concentrate on anything for more than half a minute.
If you have many tasks and solve them well, you always get more. At some point the feeling spreads: ‘The place won’t run without me’ And ‘Nobody can do it but me’. It is of course nonsense. But this feeling moved me to persevere for a long time. I saw no way out.
When I was on sick leave for a few weeks and finally went back to the hairdresser, my hairdresser asked me what had happened so and so many months ago. I had exactly at the time High-stress phase lost hair all over my head. They were just about to grow back.
That the skin does not look top is obvious. Not for nothing it is considered the mirror of the soul.
If you tend to gain weight when you’re stressed because you’re a stress eater, you may observe this symptom in yourself. I tended to lose weight because I couldn’t find time to eat and so often passed over hunger.
Here are my symptoms once again clearly laid out:
- Lack of strength and drive
- Not being able to switch off
- No joy in anything
- Fighting off all "superfluous" activities
- Negative filter and only talk about problems
- Try to pull others down
- Not being able to fall asleep / carousel of thoughts
- bad mood in the morning
- neglecting friends and hobbies
- Lack of concentration / unproductivity
- Felt isolation
- Hair loss
- Skin problems
- Gain weight / Lose weight
When I started to doubt whether I might have burnout, I clicked through a few Online tests (here, here and here) and lo and behold: of course I answered yes to all questions. It became more and more clear that I could no longer be completely fit.
Of course, there’s never an opportune moment to stay home. But sometime in February I decided to go to my family doctor after all. They pulled me out immediately.
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I can well imagine that it was not easy for you to write this post! But you really succeeded in describing very vividly how hard this time must have been for you – when reading, one can almost feel the pressure that must have weighed on you a little bit! Great that you can put your experiences into words so authentically and honestly! You are certainly making a big contribution to breaking down this taboo topic further with this.
thanks for your feedback. I am very pleased if the contribution is taken up in such a way!
Thank you for this post, Jasmin. You don’t feel so alone anymore. For an outsider all this is also not to be understood. Even if you have experienced it yourself, it is hard to understand it in retrospect. It feels so unrealistic.
As an addition to the points already mentioned, I can add the following symptoms from my own experience:
Heart palpitations, irritable bowel, shaky hands, circling thoughts, loss of appetite.
It’s scary how much your story coincides with mine. 3 hours of commuting every day, overload at work, stressful business trips… Add to that a three-month-old child who robs you of your already not exactly abundant sleep, which is plagued by problems falling asleep – and you have the perfect burnout recipe.
I then completely overdid it and ended up with a travel phobia, anxiety disorder and depression at a psychoanalyst, after I had a nervous breakdown, which resulted in regular severe panic attacks with acute fear of death and finally in the aforementioned anxiety disorder with depression.
It took me almost a year to get halay over this. Apparently I was lucky in my misfortune, because the anxiety disorder has not become chronic. It is an incredibly oppressive feeling when your own mind no longer wants to obey you. You know very well that these fears are completely hanebuschen – But you can not defend yourself against it. An experience like this changes you a lot – and not for the better.
Therefore, I can only suggest one thing to all who read this article: If the described symptoms accumulate, then better immediately pull the emergency brake.
I wish you all the best
thank you for your brave comment and the additions. There are actually some parallels. I hope that you will get over it in the long run. do not slip back into it so easily. Thank you and all the best
really a very honest and sincere report. Thank you!
I’ve read before that burnout also comes up when you live a life that is dictated by others. You didn’t sound like that at all, at least at first sight. Did you get a different perspective on your circumstances in this regard with a little more distance?
I am already curious about the next contribution!
A very important topic. I wish you all the best.
Overcoming a burnout can take a long time. What many people don’t know is that there is actually a physical problem behind it. Excessive stress hormone release over a very long time depletes the endocrine glands and after a while there can no longer be adequate stress regulation via the endocrine glands.
Unfortunately it really takes a long time to get them working properly again. Unfortunately, a little rest and behavioral changes are not enough.
Thanks for your comment, Maria. I keep my fingers crossed for my glands. I had not yet heard of this topic in this form.
Congratulations on this open and honest post!
The common thing about burnout is that most of the time you don’t even notice it yourself. Those who talk big about it are usually less affected than those who go down quietly.
In my experience, in a burnout there is always a strong lack of connection to your own body, what can help here is meditation and body work. The body shows very clearly when the end is reached and you should pay more attention to yourself.
thank you for your comment. Using this as an opportunity for self-promotion I think is cool in a limited way.
Interesting article and well worth reading. "Unfortunately" I recognize myself very well in some passages. It is difficult to talk about it, because you are labeled as a work refuser or whiner. If you don’t do something and say "no", you’re sidelined because there’s always someone who’s more dedicated. Therefore, one looks for someone else and the other gets the feeling of having failed. I see that with colleagues with burn-out, there are quite a few in our company. Employees even professionals are replaceable and "travelers should not be stopped". Can no longer hear the saying.
I have the problem that I don’t know how to go on and talking about it is very difficult. Especially with whom can you talk about it? This is really only possible anonymously on the internet or maybe with your family doctor. The subject is stigmatizing. Who can you tell that actually everything sucks, while others only see that supposedly the sun shines on you??
In the office, the madness usually starts in the morning with overburdened superiors who don’t want to make any decisions, because "everything has to fall into place and give itself".". You don’t want to meet any and you are not allowed to meet any, otherwise you don’t keep hierarchy.
The sad thing about this situation is that I resp. You used to know it differently and that it was also different once. I, for one, long for the state of being happy and content at least part of the time again. I hope that I will get back on track, but I do not know how yet.
I keep my fingers crossed for you and wait eagerly for the next part.
thank you for your honest contribution to this difficult topic. It is unfortunately a necessary step to reveal yourself, because otherwise everything continues as before. I too had the fear of being stampeded, but surprisingly the feedback was much more positive than expected. Many stood by me rather and reinforced my decision to take time off. Anonymity may be more comfortable for the time being, but it helps you only to a limited extent. Your family doctor should be a trusted person, if not, I would look for a new family doctor. It is not meant to sound trivializing, but burnout is (unfortunately) not so rare nowadays that a doctor will be completely surprised. If you don’t have a good feeling with a doctor, you can always change. In Germany it is not defined where you have to go and how often you are allowed to do it.
Unfortunately you will need a cut to get you out of the hole. Without a sick note/therapy this is difficult, I think. The necessary evil is that you must not care a bit what the others think. After you will come someone else. In a few years no one will crow about it anymore. But you have to put up with you for life, so you have to put yourself first too.
I also longed for my original state back, but probably wouldn’t have made it without professional help. Maybe I’m not quite there yet, but I’m on a good way. I can therefore only advise you: let yourself be advised. Going to the family doctor does not have to mean anything. You can always keep doing what you are doing. But it will also be relieving if you don’t do it.
All the best and let me hear from you! I have an open ear for you.
thank you for your open and honest article. It is hard to write something like this and even harder to publish it. I can well understand your situation. At times I was also very very bad and sometimes I realize, depending on the situation in life, that it could happen again.
For me, commuting is also extremely bad, because I can’t use the time as productively as I would like or even relax. I now always listen to podcasts in Spanish so I learn the language a bit. But it also drains your strength.
I’m extremely excited about how you solved your situation and hope that the next article will be as open and well written.
thank you for this report!
For me it’s a bit the other way around: my husband can’t say no very well and does everything for his family, so he himself quickly falls by the wayside. And I myself have his back, travel alone with the kids so that he can come down (at a certain stress level he can no longer enjoy the family but is just annoyed), am a housewife and schedule him for nothing but active help – like a single parent.
I’m happy to do that, because I see the basic recipe for his recovery as exactly that: stress reduction and not beating around the bush on individual symptoms.
I am not writing this because I want to complain, because I am doing well. I make sure that I stay healthy and balanced, because I understand that this is immensely important for my children. I HAVE to be good to myself in order to keep the store running as a whole.
Sometimes my husband is jealous of me, because I also do nice things, e.g. I go to play music. And actually he appreciates my performance (unlike society, which doesn’t know about children and therefore has no idea how much work (and joy) they mean), but sometimes I still get the secret reproach that I’m doing so well, and I have so much free time. (That’s right, I’m writing a comment in a blog right now.)
And I would say that the majority of society has these prejudices against housewives and mothers. We also need these highly qualified women for the job market (I have a university degree). I can live with it, because I am convinced of my way. And I believe that it is a fallacy to force mothers to work, because the social buffer for society is lost. The clubs are complaining about a lack of new blood in volunteer positions… the schools are being cut back, and parents have to step in, and yet the children – our future and our old age provision – are becoming more and more difficult, i.e. at worst unemployed … Who can step in, if with friends an emergency arose, if all must see only that they come themselves over the rounds? I mean, this does not only concern families, but also unattached people, who at least have to take care of themselves only, although they might not be the weakest end of society. They too may find themselves in a situation where they are grateful for neighborly help, or where a part-time colleague can give a little more time because she is well-balanced and still has a buffer.
That’s why I advise everyone not to work too much, but to take care of their own health – for the common good. It would be nice if out of understanding this context also came an appreciation for the achievement of non-money earners (but still working), because we need them as a social buffer zone. Only no envy.
Interesting thoughts, Viola. Next week there will be a post from us that goes in a similar direction. By the way, burnout is also a challenge for all relatives, as the beginning of your comment suggests. Thanks for the frank words!
thank you for the honest article. I recognize myself in many of your descriptions, even if it’s probably not quite so blatant with me yet (although the tests – thanks for the links – have reported acute danger to me).
I have stumbled in particular the point "commute", which you and some others had addressed. This is one of the biggest problems for me. I have been a weekend commuter for the past year, meaning my home and work are 220 km apart, I am at my work location Monday/Tuesday through Thursday and home Friday-Sunday. I thought that would be feasible, but now I see it differently. It seems so pointless to me to spend so much time on the highway and in traffic jams (which is guaranteed for me with this route), meanwhile I already panic when I hear the traffic jam forecast before I start my journey. Just like you, I feel such hopelessness, nothing changes no matter what I do, I live primarily for the job, leisure activities I basically can hardly notice. Even if there are certainly many with similar life models/commuting situations, I consider such a life to be worth living only to a limited extent. What good is money if I have no time to live anymore?? I would very much like to work fewer hours, as time is now worth much more to me than money. In my eyes this is also a social problem, actually a company should make sure that its employees finish on time, so that they are fit and motivated again the next day. In practice (for us), overtime (which is not recorded or paid) is normal and people look at you stupid if you leave on time.
Also the point "hold on until… until the business trip is done, until the vacation, until XXX" sounds familiar to me. I’ve been like this for weeks, but it’s no use, if the basic situation doesn’t fit, nothing will change, even if you continue for a few more weeks. Sooner or later I always get to the point where I realize it’s not working, at least 1/week I break down inside or sit crying in the car in a traffic jam and curse myself for trying again and again.
Like you, I still find it so hard to change anything. Even though I know that it won’t last longer, it’s still my job that feeds me. The prospect of being unemployed for the time being is not thrilling, especially since I know from the last application phase how difficult it is to find a job in my field. Besides, no one would understand the decision, on the outside I have a great job, a super career move after the last job, a well-known company.. I am very curious about your report, how it went on with you after this phase. I think it’s certainly liberating at first to quit, but what comes next?? The whole bureaucratic process (have you quit your job?? Did you get ALG?) is certainly not much fun either.
In any case, I’m glad to see that life has changed for the better for you (it certainly seems that you are working on Healthy Habits with a lot of fun and energy). I look forward to more tips on the subject.
All the best.
it’s comments like yours that motivated me to write this article in the first place. It’s not easy to disclose everything like this, but when I reach people like you in situations like yours, I know it was worth it. First of all, I have to say that if the tests show that you are in acute danger, then you should not take it lightly. Especially insomnia is (already) a problem if it lasts for a few weeks. I waited way too long back then. In general, just the fact that you reveal yourself here in such detail (for which I am very grateful to you) is a sign that you should seek advice.
First of all, about the pendulum: Yes, I also thought I could do that. Especially in my studies, you don’t have to go to university every day. But I had to. My schedule was stupid, then came the job. There is always something. It also seemed senseless to me. The problem with you is that the end of the commute is not foreseeable. Therefore also the hopelessness. You could try to make your driving more enjoyable with audio books, nice music or talking on the phone, but in a way it’s still a waste of time.
About the job: I know all this, the arguments, the rational view. It was the same with me 1:1. The salary was good, career etc., but what use is all that to you? You say that yourself: nothing. Unfortunately, life is too short to endure something like that in the long run. I’m not talking about a few weeks or months when things don’t work out, but when it goes on for years and there is no prospect of improvement. Even the vacation does not save you. If you can’t enjoy the weekend because you’re dreading Monday (I know this too), what’s the point??
I don’t think you should demonize being unemployed for a while. Probably you have worked long enough to get unemployment benefits. In this respect, you can certainly keep your head above water for a while. After all, thanks to our social system, no one has to seriously fear for their existence. Even if you then have the difficult application process ahead of you again, it is still worth it if you are permanently unhappy in the current situation.
Before you quit now and take concrete steps, a consultation with a professional, your family doctor, would be advisable. Because that way it could first be determined if you are currently fit for work. If not (as it was with me at that time), you will be sent home for a while anyway. This was also recommended to me by a psychologist at the time, because she thought I should reflect with some distance what I actually want and what I need. With a little distance you often see things more clearly. Whether you quit at some point after a sabbatical or not, you can then still – and quite calmly – decide.
I then did that, was unemployed for a month and then signed up for self employment. The start-up subsidy I got/get for it comes out of the ALG pot. You only get it if you have at least 150 days of (remaining) ALG entitlement. That means, I had to decide relatively early. But since I had been toying with the idea for a while, the move was quite clear to me.
And yes, Healthy Habits you can see as an example of how there can be a very good outcome. I am very happy today that everything went like this. Sure, I would have liked to skip my burnout, but it was necessary to get out of where I am today.
I wish you that you find your way. Let me read from you, I like to have an open ear for you!
Best regards, Jasmin
I also thank you for your courage and your openness. It has also caught me and I am more or less in the middle of it. I felt worse and worse during the last year and I knew that I should change something, but I did not. Then my body pulled the emergency brake, I lay flat for three weeks with a fever that no doctor could explain and when it didn’t go away even after antibiotic treatments, my doctor said "Sometimes you don’t have to part with people, you have to part with a job that isn’t doing you any good.". However, due to my absences, my employer took over this for me.
I lost my job, could hear from my environment, that I should not be so, I was also too young for a burnout (now 29). It got to the point where I saw everything in deep black, had suicidal thoughts and knew that I wouldn’t get out of this hole on my own. So I went to a day clinic for burnout and depression and only there it got better after a while.
In the meantime I feel much better than before, but I am still far away from "good". But it will I try to see it as a chance to rethink my life and change it in the long run, but the road is long. Especially since it is becoming more and more known in our society what is hidden behind the word "burnout", but it still has this stamp of weakness that does not make it easy for those affected to deal with it openly.
I think it’s great and encouraging to read from you and wish for more courageous people.
thank you for your feedback and openness in your comment. I hope that things will get better for you soon. I think it’s good that you see it as an opportunity – it most certainly is. I keep my fingers crossed that you find a way that makes you happy in the long run. Don’t let others drive you crazy. No one can understand how you feel unless they have experienced it for themselves.
Let read with pleasure again from you! Nice to have you as a buddy!
Unfortunately, there are many points that are also known to me. It is important to recognize this and then to change something. I am curious how you escaped the spiral.
thank you for this personal contribution.
I know all your symptoms from my ex-boyfriend, but he suffered from depression. Two such different diseases with comparable symptoms. That surprised me a bit.
I hope you feel better in the meantime.
today I got a sick note from my family doctor. First only for one week. For me, this point, that nothing more works, has long been reached, but I have always continued, because there is no other way. But today body and soul went on strike. The symptoms/perceptions described in your article are frighteningly similar to mine. But that’s why it was good to read this authentic report. I see, I am not alone and I dare a little bit more to admit to myself that I must not go on like this. Only now I am faced with a huge mountain. I don’t know yet what the next step is. My family doctor is nice and sweet, but doesn’t quite understand that a week or two off probably won’t solve the problem. It is difficult to find a therapist, because free places are rare. When you’re so listless, that alone is a huge challenge. But because I am so enthusiastic about your blog, I just wanted to say a quick thank you.
thank you for your open and detailed comment. I hope that the little time out will help you. At the beginning I was just as unsure how to proceed. I too questioned the "salami tactics" of the family doctor. But the health insurance companies would go ballistic if he were to take a blanket sick leave for two months. That’s why he doesn’t do it.
You have made the biggest step. I am sure you will find a therapist. Sometimes things happen faster than the media would have you believe. I keep my fingers crossed for you.
Many greetings and read with pleasure from you.
Thank you for this report..
I actually just googled one / two more terms because I think something is so very wrong. And so I landed on this page. Among other sites..
I recognize myself in much of your report again.
(Weekend-)commuting, stressful job without any routine, business trips… in addition there is no fixed work location and therefore I am in a different "office" almost every day. Always a full backpack from the office as a burden on my back.
I feel like I’m only on the road… I don’t really have a fixed point in my life… and I’m living out of a suitcase for the seventh year in 11 years of work… heart palpitations, stomach aches… I’m always getting caught up in anxiety. If I am in a traffic jam again, I sometimes burst into tears.
During the week I usually wake up at 4 o’clock and still I don’t really manage to get out of bed. Sometimes I just lie down, can’t make up my mind to get up too. Other days I start crying… just like that. Somehow I always manage .. somehow.
I forget a lot of things, can’t really concentrate anymore. Partly write sentences… that make no sense at all – and don’t even realize it yet. Only then, when I read about it later again. (I also read this text again at the end – and just had to change a lot of things… I’m really starting to doubt myself…)
Or I pronounce words totally crossed… Just on the weekend again – as if I read partly from right to left.
Concentration is really bad – in business as well as in private life. Reading books is now impossible… after one page I no longer know what I have just read.
I also really forget everything… and in my mid-30s it shouldn’t be that extreme yet.
In addition there is this fear… and hopelessness. I should somehow be in the middle of life… and I’m actually not capable of anything anymore. The power is gone… and I wish myself so much that I finally feel better again. That the energy I put into life… finally pays off too. But no matter what I do… it doesn’t work out.
At work I can do and do what I want… the others always seem to be better and faster. Partly I ask myself what I am supposed to there actually. So the sense in it actually lies. What contribution I can actually make.
Then the ambition grabs me… but that what I put in energy… it’s sooo much. And it does not seem to be enough.
On Fridays, when I’m sitting in the car again and it takes me 2-3 hours to drive 110 kilometers… that’s always bad. Partly I cry the whole way…
And then I’m at home on the weekend – I can’t get myself up to do anything. My husband does the laundry in the meantime. He cooks and goes to the market.
He always has to motivate me to do something. If he wouldn’t do that… I would stay seated. There is always a feeling: the week will be long and stressful again… now I’ll sit here and watch another series… and then I’ll zap through the channels… and do something else on the side… most of the time I don’t really get what is actually going on.
But now I’m writing this down… and don’t know what to do next.
To go to a doctor…. when? like?
My primary care physician is not at my place of work. I don’t even know how to do this. Or what I should tell.
"Hello, there is something wrong with me. "… Surely everyone has stress from time to time… or not?
I have no idea how to approach this.
I just had a week of vacation… I thought that after that I could start again well in the everyday life. Misjudgement. Our next vacation is at the end of October.
I don’t really know how I’m going to keep this up until then.
But I am also afraid that nobody believes me… how it goes, which I partly can no longer do. Where I just come to my limits. Then I also think again: probably the new job is also not for me. Maybe I’m just not cut out for the whole thing. Probably all my bosses have been wrong so far.
It’s burnout.? or am I just not suitable? Would a new job be different? Would I be better then? What if…
I don’t know… just that I can’t do it like this anymore… But then the fear comes again… maybe if I am sick longer, what will happen?? Do I still have a job then? how can we then continue to finance under life if I should lose my job… how can we fulfill our dreams…
Somehow I am going in circles….
Since Jasmin is on vacation, I’ll reply to your comment first. From the outside, it is at least clear that it should not go on like this. What do you get out of any "dreams" if at the same time you get nothing out of life? That makes no sense. If you think you need money for dreams, I recommend our latest article on financial freedom.
In the short term, I can only recommend going to a doctor. It doesn’t matter whether your family doctor is at your place of work or not. Then you call in sick for a day (you can do that without a doctor’s certificate) and go to the doctor on that day. You tell him exactly what you have written here. The probability is high that he/she hears all this not for the first time and immediately writes you temporarily sick. If not, find another one. It is not meant that people should be so finished because of work.
If you can’t make the effort yourself, talk it over with your husband. He is probably also very interested in you getting back on your feet, instead of saving yourself from one day to the next and coming home crying on Fridays.
Hello dear Jasmin,
thank you for this post! I have felt exactly as you described since the beginning of last year! I will take it as an opportunity to go directly to the doctor tomorrow and tell her about my symptoms. Unfortunately I don’t like to go to the doctor and avoid complaining, but I feel worse and worse every day. I am currently in the final spurt of my studies and I feel overwhelmed by family, personal and study related reasons. Either I am insomniac or I sleep several hours a day and still feel exhausted, I cry a lot and have gastrointestinal problems, I am irritable I often lose my temper over small things etc etc. You know it. I hope the doctor will understand and react appropriately. LG Jasmin
Hello Jasmin, thank you for your comment. I wish you all the best and v. a. get well soon!
Well, what can I say, can there be such a thing?.
I try to process this, but it seems to me that this is exactly the difficulty,
Lately, everything just gets me down, and stresses me out immensely,
it also sometimes happens that I don’t want to be!
. why can’t it be easy? that his.
I think it’s good that you report so openly about your burnout. Unfortunately, at the end of your report, I am left with the question "How do I get out of this??"
I myself am not affected but my life companion.
I have already seen for four years, that he steers towards it. Whenever I bring this up he doesn’t want it to be true. He would have to change his whole life. From the stressful job in the field to his thousand hobbies to his much too tight cost of living. But he just goes around in circles, doesn’t know where to start. Occupies himself only with things that make him fun, but do not bring him further.
I have tried again and again to help him. I found him therapists, a burnout coach, reports where he could read and last but not least your website, so that he sees that he is not alone and maybe somewhere a solution opens up. Since I have a clearer view of his situation I try to push him in the right direction. With the success , that he only insults and fights me. He strongly resists to change anything in fear of doing the wrong thing.
In the meantime he is in the 12th week of illness. Only, writing sick alone does not help him. He didn’t get along with the therapist so he quit him. A new one he does not have because he does not care although I have picked out some for him. The coach became too expensive, because he only gets sick pay which is known to be less. He does not get the documents for a cure filled out because the drive is missing.
If you ask a doctor or health insurance company, no one will help you. I am now completely at the end with my strength.
Even though he doesn’t know how to go on, he knows everything better when you try to explain things to him.
And sad but true …NO ONE is helping….
After the last insulting and abusive action I have now pulled back. I have to carry my own baggage where no one helps me either. And I can’t give my complete energy to someone who doesn’t accept it . And if he implements what of my ideas was suddenly his realization.
Maybe I’m doing him wrong and he can’t do anything about it because of his situation .
Therefore I would like to ask you what possibilities one really has to get out of this vicious circle ?
When one lacks the drive but without it does not go on. In fact he wants to go back to work in two weeks because he lacks too much money. I see him then however completely go down. Since he will expose his life completely again to the whirlpool of the work, he will have neither for doctor , therapists nor for a restructuring of his life circumstances time or take…
I feel more than helpless….
Hello and thank you for sharing your thoughts and problems so openly here. I can imagine very well how you feel. I think every relationship is put to the test by a burnout of one partner – even if both partners agree that a burnout is present. Even then it is not easy. It is even more difficult when the person does not want to admit it, as in your case.
First of all I can really sympathize with you. It must drive you crazy to see all this happening. You are not in his shoes. Therefore you can also analyze things better and maybe "see more clearly". The catch is you can’t help him. While it is really strong of you to put so much energy into helping him. But – you can tell him what you observe and support him in his way, but you can’t do more. He can only make the step alone. You have already done your best so far by doing the research for therapists. But he can only help himself.
Sometimes it’s especially bitter because you have to watch someone go completely off the rails. But unfortunately it is not possible for you to take him to a therapist. In similar situations I once found the thought helpful: people stand where they stand right now. He is exactly where he is now. And that is not yet where he goes to the therapist. It is very hard to accept this, but you have no other choice.
I know many stories of other couples, where it was also very difficult, because one was permanently at the limit (from the work or. with the mental health), while the other one had to carry it along. In the end the patient has to realize himself that he needs help. Otherwise no therapy will help. That’s why nobody is forced to a drug withdrawal, because if the person doesn’t want it, it doesn’t work.
In my eyes you should first accept the current situation. It may well be that something will change in the near future. Maybe something will move if you let it go. Sometimes it is the pressure from the outside that causes the opposite of what it is supposed to do.
Say: maybe he still comes to look for help. This is not impossible.
Until that time comes, do not forget yourself. Take good care of yourself, because no one else can do that. Do good for yourself, take care of yourself and maybe you can infect or inspire him with a habit or two.
Everybody is responsible for himself. Keep this in mind when the impulse comes up again to want to change him and his situation. Sometimes there is nothing else you can do as a bystander but to be there and not to leave the person alone with his situation.
I wish you all the best and especially a lot of strength.
Thank you Jasmin,
You have helped me a lot. In the meantime he has ended the relationship because I supposedly don’t understand him and he doesn’t understand me. Maybe this is his chance now. I will heed your advice and take care of myself now…thank you
I am very sorry, but maybe it has good sides for both of you. Take care of yourself and let read from you again with pleasure. All the best!
I am the one who is being talked about here! However, I just realized THIS myself, because SHE did send me the link to this forum, but I am then in front of ca. Stuck 4 weeks up because exactly while reading these posts, SHE wrote herself, inexplicably to me, into a rage and fury that I couldn’t comprehend. That’s why I wanted to call HER and sort it out before the whole thing escalated, which I then failed to do because SHE didn’t pick up the phone. After ca. After 10 attempts to call, I gave up! I have then since then, until yesterday, had no more contact with HER!
It is definitely not right that I ended the relationship, but SHE did! SHE threw things at my head that I could only wonder where this aggression came from. She wrote u.a., that SHE didn’t want to and couldn’t help me anymore, because otherwise SHE would break herself, that I was totally ungrateful, because SHE had helped me soooo much (the opposite is the case: SHE rather pushed me to tackle things I was simply not able to do, which I also told HER all the time that it was not that easy for me to do and then she was angry that I didn’t do it the way SHE wanted or thought of it! SHE also always told me that SHE would understand me and proved me exactly the opposite with HER next sentence!! And when I told HER that, SHE was offended again!) and SHE then literally wrote: I wish you much success….Enough is enough…..! Later, resp. the next day she told me not to call anymore, because SHE wouldn’t answer the phone anyway and SHE didn’t want to listen to all this anymore and I should look for a therapist to whom I can tell all this..!
What should I think about it, except that SHE has broken up and ended our relationship. I did not even have the possibility to question this or to put it right.
So I accepted YOUR breakup and threw YOUR key into the mailbox. For me it was quite clear that SHE wanted it that way………which was also confirmed to me by others to whom I showed this part of the correspondence!
Yesterday (Saturday) I was surprised to learn that this was not YOUR intention and YOUR words were not meant that way………but how was I supposed to know that when I understood it that way?.
But also further above SHE has written you things that are simply not true!
I have noticed for a long time that there is something wrong with me, because I am constantly stressed and tired and vacations do not give me any rest at all. In addition, things that happen in my company often upset me, because I am the last in line (at the customer’s site) and have to clarify and correct everything, and in addition I get the concentrated dissatisfaction of the customer. Due to my work in the field, I am quite remote-controlled, I only get the weekly schedule for the following week on Friday evening, which is often already changed on Tuesdays, so I can’t plan anything private at all. But THAT has been getting on my nerves for a while and the thought of throwing it all away is growing more and more as time goes on.
I also notice how my body is on strike more and more and I constantly have or get some kind of colds, joint and bone pains and other aches and pains. One thing goes and something else comes. Currently, it is a swelling under the foot, which suddenly appeared and I then went after 2 weeks to the doctor, who took me directly out of circulation, because he also knows my history of the last few years (2015 I had a cure measure, but it has brought absolutely nothing, because constantly therapists have fallen out). With me it was u.a. also as others write here that even getting up in the morning was difficult for me. Often I lay in bed for a long time, got up at noon and before I knew it, it was already evening again. But even that could never comprehend SHE!
In any case, then I also realized that my current therapist somehow could not manage to help me further. I am simply missing the "keyword" that sends me in the right direction, because I can’t define my situation absolutely myself. First it was called depression and suddenly it was called burnout. Also here you can see that it is not right that I don’t want to get help…….I want to, but I don’t seem to have found the right therapist yet who knows how to handle me.
I then tried to get help from my health insurance company, which also did not bring any real success. My EX was also always of the opinion that I should look for a new/different therapist, but apparently SHE didn’t consider that you have to wait easily 7-12 months for a free spot. The current therapist was, so to speak, an emergency solution, which I got through the medical service!
I then asked at the Burnout-Lotzen, with the result that they have no free places in my area. The Burnout-Academy, as a second possibility, might have been an option, but I would have had to travel 200km to Frankfurt once a week and in addition, this measure would NOT be paid by the health insurance. With sick pay very hard to do, especially since my company car was taken away from me after 6 weeks. Fortunately I still have an oldtimer to drive, which is not suitable for winter and with 14l/100km pulls the yellow out of my pocket (SHE was of the opinion that I do not have to drive much, although I was constantly on the road to doctor, examination and gymnastics appointments and every 2 weeks on the weekend mind. 400km to bring my daughter to me and back (daddy’s weekend), but all that counts for nothing!)
I have then, with YOUR help found a burnout coach in my area, which I had to pay for the first time, but gratefully accepted and he could also help me better than my previous therapist, which I then gave up. I still had the hope that my health insurance, due to the desolate therapist situation, would take over the costs, which was then denied, because of bureaucratic reasons. That’s why I had to quit the coach again, because I couldn’t afford the costs of 80,-€ per session. The financial situation also worried me, which my ex simply ignored. Somehow I have to cover my costs, which I can’t just turn off! If I get into a debt trap, I won’t feel any better!!
And that was finally also the reason why I did not let myself go on sick leave for 4 weeks, but only for 2 weeks. But, and I also felt this clearly, my ex did not like it either! Sure, SHE didn’t even consider my financial situation, but only reproached me for everything I did wrong in the past. THAT is in myr situation also not exactly conducive.
In any case, I first wanted to try to go back to work, which my doctor also approved of, especially since one could then also justify a cure in addition, if it does not work after all.
I have now gone to work for just under 3 weeks (2 before Christmas and now 3 days in the new year) and am currently holding out reasonably well. I also have other reasons why I do it this way!
But it may come again that I pull the emergency brake myself, because at the moment I do not have the opportunity or the energy to look for other therapists. Yes, even filling out the application form for a cure causes me problems. Actually, I wanted to tackle this again this weekend, but then the meeting with my ex came about, because I’m still brooding and thinking about HER accusations and finally went to see HER, because SHE still didn’t answer the phone after 4 weeks. Also this brooding about the reproaches and the situation at that time paralyze me in such a way that I don’t manage anything meaningful and sink again and again into thoughts…..
So what should I do?
Do you have a piece of advice for me, which will bring me further?
first thank you for your trust and your openness. I think very few people have commented on this blog in this length and detail so far. I am a little speechless in the face of all the things you have described from your point of view. In my eyes, this is once again an example of the fact that one always knows only one side when a person describes his or her point of view. Now that you’re reporting in, things are taking on a different tone. But I have to point out again that I am neither a coach nor a therapist. I can therefore help neither you nor your ex. I am not trained for this. I can only tell you that I have the feeling of lack of drive etc. know very well. That’s why I think it’s brave that you’re going back to work now anyway. Sometimes work also helps not to brood too much. Whether you can do this permanently, only you will know and can decide. I keep my fingers crossed that you will make it. Maybe you can also talk about changing some of the circumstances of your work? I know that always sounds easy. But there is nothing else to do: either you try to change what doesn’t fit or you come to terms with it. Maybe another job comes into question?
Regarding your (past) relationship, I can’t give any advice from a distance, of course. But I think there is something broken between you. Especially the communication seems to have gone very wrong, because you both feel completely misunderstood. Maybe a little more grass needs to grow over the matter until you can get close again. You both should give yourselves the time. Surely a therapist would help, but I know that’s not an easy thing to do cost-wise.
Maybe you both should focus on yourselves first, because a common advice is: start with yourself. If we ourselves are doing well, then the relationship is also doing better. But when you are not well, you tend to look for the cause somewhere else and to pass on the frustration. Maybe you will take care of yourselves in the near future. If you are then both again in a better condition, who knows what will come then?
I wish you all the best and positive and keep my fingers crossed that you both get back on the right track.
Take good care of yourselves.
THANK YOU for your analysis and statement!
It is true, often written things are understood by the reader quite differently than it was meant or, as in our example, something is written, which was apparently meant differently………but the reader can not know that and takes it as he understands it!
And sometimes this creates a chain reaction…………
hello hi i am claudia 65 years old 14 or 16 hours worked burn out exactly from this fibromyalgia i know all your symptoms 2009 kams then collapse immerwiedet rausgerappelt out of the hole geschaft until i could not do it anymore
now today 2019 only achebin on my way I write poetry my first book
Thanks for your comment and all the best for you, Claudia!
Thanks for the honest article!
I would like to share my experiences with burn-out, or technically correct "depression due to overload", because they do not correspond to the classic picture.
I could sleep and how much I could sleep! Falling asleep was problematic but the flicker box or a radio play helped me to escape into the land of dreams and once I was there I never wanted to get up again. If I had had the chance, I would have stayed in bed day in and day out because I was never asleep – no matter how much I slept. On the way to work I had enoremen urge to urinate no matter how close I was to the toilet before and then the night sweats! Otherwise I was always cold at night and my husband still said that the sweating was because I was dressed thickly, but no! My doctor told me later about the cortisol, the adrenaline and what our body then tries to bring everything back into balance.
Already at the second session with the therapist I asked her when I would be able to go back to work. "Can you go back to work?" she asked me and I answered that I have to, because I can’t stay at home forever….I was a driven woman.
After the dismissal I could not even get my certificate and my things. The thought of going back to work made me feel sick and everything was fighting back.
Today I am doing a job that does not overwhelm me anymore. The area of responsibility is clearly defined, my boss takes care of me and I have strength and nerves for my 5 year old son, who has completely experienced the burn-out. When I started my new job he asked me: "Mama? Is the new boss sweet to you anyway? If not, I’ll build you a new job out of Duplo."These were words that filled my eyes with tears and made me so unspeakably sad, because my ego, this "I have to prove to myself that I can be a mother and successful in my job" almost cost me the most important thing and that is the task of being there for my child.
Meanwhile I live differently. 2019 was my teaching year and successively I continue to change my life.
I’ve been writing a mindfulness journal for 3 weeks now, and a week ago there was the question of goal. What is important to me? And I was able to find an answer: "Minimization of capitalist wealth, maximization of mental and psychic wealth."
Looking back, it was a tough school, but it was very very important!
Wow, Babsi, thank you for your post and your openness. I think it’s quite important that others can recognize themselves in your story and that you also show the diversity in this topic. I think there you have learned extremely much and are on a very healthy path. For this I wish you and your family all the best!
"Sometimes I run in the hallway to save time." – Thank you for sharing this with us. Just a few months ago, I too was running in the hallway and barely went to the bathroom because I thought: I can’t get away from the computer now, I can’t spare those two minutes. By a (actually un-) happy coincidence I have just distance from my work and am so glad to discover this reaction in me when reading your text: How insanely absurd it is to run in the hallway! As a young professional I have rediscovered your blog with all the important issues after years. Every day anew, I try to remind myself that in the office, after all, no one from the upper floors cares about my health (why would they??). Despite sympathetic talks, the tasks pile up and pile up. Who else will take care of you if not yourself!? This is so important.
It’s 4 a.m. and my ex of five years has left less than a month after I broke up with him, and it’s killing me. I can not stop seeing her face in my dreams