Stressed, burnt out and exhausted - is that already a burnout? This question even divides the medical community, so it is not surprising that those affected are unsettled by a self-diagnosis. There are very different definitions for the concise term burnout and the emotional as well as physical burnout itself is not a medical diagnosis. When do we need a therapy for burnout and what treatments are available?
Burnout: When is therapy necessary?
Complaints associated with the experience of burnout can vary from person to person. Since there is no clear definition of suffering based on symptoms, the Conversation with the doctor or therapist the basis for an initial assessment. Some symptoms like listlessness, tiredness, senselessness and a crushing sense of emptiness overlap with the symptoms of depression.
Some experts therefore assume that there is no significant dividing line between the two diseases. In principle, a burnout is the view of the person affected ("Because I had too much stress, I burned out"), while medical professionals look at the symptoms from the outside and may recognise characteristics of depression. Standardized questionnaireswhich in most cases are based on the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), help doctors and therapists to determine the clinical picture more precisely and to suggest treatment options.
A professional therapy becomes indispensable when the characteristic signs of the burnout is getting worse and the affected person is no longer able to change his or her life situation independently.
The following symptoms may indicate burnout:
- Exhaustion and persistent fatigue
- social withdrawal
- decreasing productivity
- Decrease in emotional resilience
- Loss of meaning and inner emptiness
- physical symptoms such as sleep disorders, back pain, headaches and digestive problems occur
The different possibilities of a burnout therapy
Since it is responsible for the emotional and physical burnout no standardised burnout therapy different treatments can be considered. In any case, it is particularly important that the therapy fits the individual patient and his personal life situation. In easier cases, the clarification of one's own goals can be helpful, Relaxation techniques as well as measures for stress management and Time Management already achieve a lot. At the beginning of the symptomatology, extended recovery holidays and cures also help. In the advanced stage of burnout, the affected persons should then be helped with targeted psychotherapy.
The goal of every burnout therapy is always a realistic assessment of one's own performance, as well as a comprehensive lifestyle change to reach. Only in this way can excessive demands be reduced or avoided completely in the future. Psychotherapeutic treatment, especially behavior therapy, can outpatient or in a clinic take place. Within the therapy, those affected learn to create realistic perspectives for themselves, to perceive and express their feelings more clearly and to find more favourable strategies for dealing with stress. In severe cases the doctor can also Drugs such as prescribing antidepressants to reduce the suffering of those affected.
In principle, several therapy programs with different therapeutic measures are offered, which are adapted to the stage of the disease and the iindividual needs of the patient. The intensity of the treatment can also vary and ranges from outpatient therapy to an inpatient stay in a clinic. Some forms of treatment are carried out completely by the Health insurance while those affected have to pay for other measures at least proportionately privately.
All therapy options at a glance
- Coaching programs with trained therapists or alternative practitioners
- Psychotherapy in the form of psychoanalysis, talk therapy or behaviour therapy
- Learning of different relaxation techniques like
- Autogenic training, Meditation, Yoga or Mindfulness training
- Physiotherapy in the form of Massagesgymnastics or medicinal baths
- drug therapy with mood-lifting preparations
- creative therapies in the psychosomatic concept
- Therapy in a psychosomatic spa clinic
- Stay in a psychiatric clinic