Burnout syndrome or chronic burnout affects millions in the workforce annually. One study estimates 28% of Americans deal with burnout, with that number increasing to 54% for those in high-pressure or high-stress careers. Burnout can affect anyone in any career path, young or old, in an entry-level or senior position. So, what is burnout? What are the symptoms and how can it affect the health of workers in the long term? Perhaps most importantly, how can burnout be treated?
Burnout syndrome is a prolonged state of physical and mental exhaustion, usually due to long-term exposure to a high-pressure atmosphere. The term is becoming increasingly common, with some studies reporting close to 30% of American workers suffer from burnout. In high-pressure fields, the frequency can rise beyond 50%. Even among workers who do not directly report burnout, many experience intolerable levels of stress, emotional distress, and family problems, highlighting how widespread this problem has become.
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