Burnout refers to a condition in which person becomes drained out due to the burden of external demands. A person feels mentally, physically, and emotionally tired due to his inability to fulfill daily demands. The stress level of the person reaches to the extent that his state of exertion decreases person’s motivation level to carry over tasks. You feel unable to satisfy any role due to the high level of exhaustion whether at a workplace, home settings, or social settings etc.

It can be observed that when a person is in burnout state, his performance and drive to put his efforts is reduced due to the emotional turmoil he experiences in the form of hopelessness, helplessness, contempt, and resentment. It ends up in instances such as a person gives up in the situations. Burn-out can impact a person to the level it can develop depression, anxiety or any other psychological problem. It is ok if a person experiences boredom and workload for the time being, but it’s not going to be right in any way if a person keeps on experiencing such level of stress. Because, the burn out damages us in various ways, it is very important to understand the symptoms and causes of burnout so we can prevent its detrimental effects on us.

Mehwish-MursaleenMehwish Mursaleen is MPhil in Clinical Psychology and pursuing her PhD in similar field from Institute of Clinical Psychology, University of Karachi. She has provided mental health services to people having different psychological problems coming from different age groups and backgrounds. Her research work is based on IQ, Emotional Intelligence, Academic achievement and Aggression in adolescents. She also has published case studies on CBT for depression and panic disorder. Her interests are in the areas of counselling, psychotherapy, and psychological assessment.

Editor: Mr. Wakeel Murad

Identification of burn-out symptoms

Physiological indications of burnout:

It can be recognized through physical symptoms burn out produces in our body such as:

  • Fatigue and exhaustion during majority of the time in a day
  • Feeling bizarre and experiencing lack of energy or even having a fever some of the time
  • Different kinds of aches attack you such as pain in shoulders, muscles, backbone, and head
  • Decreased or increased need for appetite and sleep
  • Decreased sex drive or feeling incapable while being with your partner


You can observe that the symptoms mimic depression. The only thing differs is the induction of pain symptoms which clearly indicates a state of tiredness due to workload. Some people are able to identify the reason and name it as burnout. Whereas, depression has some different kind of etiological factors.