HOW TO DIFFERENTIATE BURNOUT FROM DEPRESSION
Burnout and depression can look very similar. Both are often characterised by feelings of fatigue and low energy, sleep disturbances, feeling sad and distressed. But unlike burnout, depression is a psychiatric diagnosis with symptoms which have a global impact – not limited to occupational context. Depression is potentially a severely debilitating condition, affecting many areas of the person’s life.
As Toker and Biron (2010) point out:
- Make a more vital impression and are more able to enjoy things (although they often lack the energy for it);
- Rarely lose weight, show psychomotoric inhibition, or report thoughts about suicide;
- Have more realistic feeling of guilt, if they feel guilty;
- Tend to attribute their indecisiveness and inactivity to their fatigue rather than to their illness (as depressed individuals tend to do);
- Often have difficulty falling asleep, whereas in the case of depression one tends to wake up too early (Hoogduin, Schaap & Methorst, 1996 )’
“Quote Source: Toker, S. & Biron, M. (2012). Job Burnout and Depression: Unraveling their Temporal Relationship and Considering the Role of Physical Activity. Journal of Applied Psychology. 97(3). 699-710.”
HOW TO DIFFERENTIATe BURNOUT FROM ACUTE STRESS
Burnout may be the consequence of long term stress, but it is different from being under extreme stress.
Stress is characterised by the following
Burnout in comparison is characterised by the following: