The symptoms of burnout (mental, emotional, physical and spiritual fatigue) spill over into other areas of the affected person’s life jeopardising their performance, motivation, personal relationships and social life, and can lead to depression, anxiety and psychosomatic disorders, as well as destructive behaviours toward self and others.
Burnout is known to cause a narrowed awareness and dysfunction in individuals, amongst couples, as well as within organisations — resulting in lower productivity, higher absenteeism, poorer morale and performance issues.
Stephen Wright (author of “Burnout – A Spiritual Crisis on the Way Home“) describes burnout as a form of deep human suffering at every level – physical, psychological, social, spiritual – which occurs when old ways of being in the world no longer work and start to disintegrate.
The Burnout Self Diagnostic Tool (below) is a means to establish if you are approaching burnout or are already in it.
The following statements apply to your life in general, including work and home. Don’t try picking away at them and analysing, just allow your responses to surface spontaneously and for an overall picture to emerge and answer “yes” or “no” to each:
- I find myself feeling stressed or irritated when others make even simple demands of me.
- Work always seems to exhaust me.
- I seem to get angry more easily than I used to.
- I have this feeling of being in the “wrong” place a lot of the time.
- I worry about things a lot more than I used to.
- When I go to sleep, I wake up feeling tired.
- I often can’t sleep because of thoughts/worries racing through my mind.
- I don’t feel a sense of peace.
- I feel disconnected from normal life.
- Everybody seems to be OK but me.
- I seem to move from one job to another and nothing really satisfies.
- I seem to move from one relationship to another and nothing really satisfies.
- I feel stuck and going nowhere in my current main relationship(s).
- I feel stuck and going nowhere in my work.
- I am more suspicious of people than I used to be.
- I feel unhappy a lot at home.
- Work no longer satisfies me.
- I feel weighed down by responsibility.
- Changes or demands at work feel like a threat.
- I feel I’m in the wrong job.
- I feel I’m in the wrong marriage/partnership.
- People seem to be avoiding me.
- I avoid other people.
- I feel helpless at work.
- I feel helpless at home.
- I seem to be running just to stay still – doing more but achieving less.
- I seem to be helping everyone else, but no-one seems to see my suffering.
- I get sick a lot.
- I seem to get a lot of aches and pains.
- The thought of going to work makes me feel sick.
- The thought of going home makes me feel sick.
- Doing ordinary things like shopping seems to take a monumental effort.
- I seem to forget things more than usual.
- Normal conversation seems to take more effort than usual.
- I feel ashamed that I am not coping.
- I feel no one really understands what life is like for me.
- People trying to help just make things worse.
- The future seems hopeless.
- I’ve lost confidence in myself.
- I feel like I’m on my own.
- Whatever’s wrong, it’s all my fault.
- Whatever’s wrong, it’s because others are getting at me.
- Things I once believed in don’t seem true any more.
- The world seems a place of horror and despair.
- I’ve sometimes thought that death would be better than life.
- I’m taking more time off work than I used to.
- At work, I feel like I am under attack a lot of the time.
- Sometimes I burst into tears for no apparent reason.
- I have inexplicable feelings of deep sadness.
- I can explode with anger at things I would once see as trivial.
- When I’m talking with people, it’s sometimes like we’re using different languages.
- I’ve lost interest in my pastimes or hobbies.
- I seem to be making a lot more mistakes than usual.
- People I love seem to be getting more angry with me.
- There seems to be no time for anything but work.
- I’ve no time for people, even those I love.
- I seem to indulge in more drink, drugs, food, casual sex, junk TV or whatever.
- I feel exhausted and drained of energy a lot of the time.
- At home, people’s demands on me can feel like an attack.
- I feel mentally paralysed and don’t know which way to turn.
- I’ve lost interest in sex.
- I spend more time in bed than usual.
- When things go wrong I tend to blame me.
- I’ve put on/lost weight.
- I’ve had more of the following of late – headaches, vomiting, diarrhoea, tummy ache, constipation, breathlessness, fainting, dizziness.
- I seem to be making a lot of mistakes with even the simplest of things.
- I’m easily irritated by things I would normally ignore – background noises, people speaking, loud TV etc.
- I seem to be taking more careless risks e.g. at work, while driving, household jobs, etc.
- I’ve become more cynical.
- I feel a lot of the time like I just want to curl up in a ball and the world to go away.
In general, answering “yes” 35 times or more would indicate a state of serious challenge in your life. If you answered “yes” 50 or more times you are probably in burnout right now. There is no fixed score, but clearly the higher the number of “yes” answers in this case the closer you are to being in burnout. On average, answering “yes” more than 35 times would suggest that you are very close to if not actually in burnout and this is a wake up call to do something about it.
The following links provide information and resources for both the prevention and treatment of burnout: .
- Download The Cool, Calm & Collected Technique MP3 (free) – teaching you how to switch your mind from stress mode to a peaceful and centred mode within a few seconds.
- Read about the burnout prevention and stress management audio programme —
- Read about Jevon Dängeli’s burnout prevention and treatment —
Personal Sessions via Skype
- Read about our Stress Resilience & Burnout Prevention Seminar
- Read about our Stress & Burnout Rejuvenation Retreats
- Read articles on burnout here
- Follow our ‘Stress & Burnout – surviving & thriving skills’ page on —
(The Burnout Self Diagnostic Tool is used with permission from The Sacred Space Foundation)