Burnout may result from excessive stress but is not the same thing. And although stress is an essential prerequisite for burnout, burnout will not necessarily be the result of too much stress. For Burnout to occur there needs to be an additional psychological factor. After living with stress – often quite enjoying it – there comes a tipping point and from that situation there appears no way forward. There is a feeling of being overwhelmed without energy or hope.

For many this state is precipitated by a realisation that the ideals which are their raison d’etre are not shared by their partners, colleagues, peers or bosses – those to whom they look for support.

Excessive stress will result in physical problems – Burnout is primarily a psychological condition which can also manifest with physical problems.


  • Characterized by disengagement
  • Emotions are blunted
  • Produces helplessness and hopelessness
  • Loss of motivation, ideals, and hope
  • Leads to detachment and depression
  • Primary damage is emotional
  • May make life seem not worth living


  • Characterized by over engagement
  • Emotions are overreactive
  • Produces urgency and hyperactivity
  • Loss of energy
  • Leads to anxiety disorders
  • Primary damage is physical
  • May kill you prematurely