My burn-out
My burn-out

Burnout is not depression!

Whether it is in the media or in everyday language, the word “burnout” is used very often. Nonetheless, and probably because it appeared recently, it is generally misused and routinely mistaken for other illnesses like depression.

However, burnout is not a depression, they are even almost the opposite.

I invite you to watch this animated film The Last Knit, it is the perfect definition of burnout.

Burnout is a state of utter exhaustion, both physical and psychological, and most often linked to a professional environment that has become too difficult for the person to live with.

Depression is an illness that is characterized in particular by great sadness, a feeling of hopelessness, loss of motivation and decision-making capacities, a decrease in the feeling of pleasure, eating and sleep disorders, morbid thoughts and the feeling of being no good as an individual.

Here are some elements that will help you understand them and perhaps answer some of your questions.

However, it should be remembered that burnout can, in certain cases such as a feeling of great fragility, lead to depression.

People who reach the stage of burnout produce little or no more of the stress hormone, cortisol. This hormone allows you to get up in the morning and stimulate your body.People with depression, on the contrary, produce a very high amount of cortisol, which always puts their body on alert and under constant stress.
The person is often in denial. Refuses to stop. She therefore generally does not see burnout happening.The person recognizes he or she is suffering and is often complaining and wishes to be listened to. He or she feels himself slipping into this depression and is aware of his condition.
Hyperactivity. Super organization of his “TO DO” list to achieve everything. Do everything, alone and quickly!Lack of desire and motivation. Lack of interest in things, including those that made them happy before. The person forgets things, tries to delegate as much as possible.
Symptom of abnormal acceleration of the rate of thought creating a state of overexcitement.Symptom of slow rate of thought.
ADriven by a deep desire for perfection and success.Withdrawal from the world, loss of interest, the person gives up the fight, gives in to despair.
Very important “acute” suffering in connection with a part of his life. Often work. But can be relative to the personal sphere, motherhood. But here all his life is not this suffering.Dull pain that affects all areas of a person’s life. There is no “breath of fresh air”.
The day is too short to do everything. The person may even shorten their nights to get to do “more” things.The day passes too slowly, lack of purpose and interest.
Unstable mood and roller coaster of emotions with highs and lows.A constant state of depression.
The person is often irritable, bossy, intolerant.No longer the strength to fight, dependent.
Progressive syndrome that sets in over months or even years.Once installed, depression presents itself as a permanent state.
Impulsive and unpredictable suicidal temptation. It is a suffering, an overflow of emotions that can lead to a radical decision.The person is struggling with a latent temptation to commit suicide. Suicide appears as a possible solution to eliminate too much suffering.
Burn-out vs depression

Véronique About


An entrepreneur and sophrologist, I graduated from CEAS in Paris and from the Sophrology Academy in Ashford, which is a member of FEPS (the Federation of Sophrology Centers), I specialized in issues of stress and burn-out. Do not hesitate to contact me, for any questions or request for support in sophrology.