13 Surprising Signs of Burnout You May Be Missing

From Thrive Global.

Pay attention to these symptoms so you can stop burnout it its tracks.

We all have those moments when we look around and realize the way we’re living and working…well, isn’t working. When we have that wake-up-call moment, we realize that we’d been missing some signs — be they physical, emotional, interpersonal, or professional — that something wasn’t right.

Burnout is a significant issue across most career fields, with dire consequences for individuals and businesses alike, according to a growing body of research. As we push through the whirlwind obligations of our busy lives, it can be hard to recognize the symptoms and signs of burnout before they reach a critical pointand demand to be addressed.

That’s why we asked our Thrive contributor community to share the burnout symptoms they didn’t recognize and wished they had. Their stories highlight the many (and sometimes unexpected) ways burnout can manifest in our lives, and their advice provides important insight into what we can do to address these symptoms head on.

Making careless mistakes

“It was only in retrospect that I recognised that one of the signs of burnout was making the kind of stupid, careless mistakes that lead to minor irritations such as being locked out, leaving my laptop in the back of a cab, scratching the car, or getting the date wrong for an important family event. At work, I was (just about) keeping my head above the water. At home, it was all going to pot!”

—Louise Rodgers, public relations consultant, London

Losing your “voice”

“When I look back on the signs I was heading towards a burnout, the biggest one that stands out for me is the feeling of losing my voice. Not physically, but metaphorically. When I’m not taking enough care of myself my ideas dry up. I feel like I have nothing to say or share. Now, as soon as I start to feel this way, I immediately evaluate if I’m making time for me, and if not, I get right back to it. Personally, that looks like seeing friends and being creative through knitting or crocheting.”

Read more here…

Helping in memory of her son, Patrick, who died by suicide

From The Gazette

This much Martine Brault knows: she will never see her first-born son again.

Patrick Chouinard died in a fiery crash on Sept. 6, 2017, at about 5:50 a.m. He was 20. Brault believes that when he drove his car at high speed into a concrete viaduct wall on Quebec City’s Autoroute Duplessis, he did so intentionally. That his death was a suicide. The coroner needed dental records to confirm his identity.

Only after Patrick’s death did his mother learn that he most probably suffered from depression. He’d been somewhat irritable and angry of late. Mostly, though, he was a happy-go-lucky guy who loved having fun with his friends and whose passion was cars.

“People with depression are really good at putting on a face and saying everything is OK,” said Brault, a Quebec City veterinarian. “But when I spoke to his friends after his death, I learned that he had confided in them that everything wasn’t so OK.”

She would learn that Patrick often spent the night driving around in his car, grey with gold mag wheels. “He must have been the only one in Quebec with those wheels,” she said. That sometimes he had dark thoughts: He told one friend that his car would be his coffin. Two nights before his death, he spent the night sitting on train tracks on a railway overpass 400 feet in the air.

Friends said there were phrases he’d use:

Things aren’t clear in my head.

I am confused.

I am down.

I am anxious.

Read more here…

Comment la dépression entre dans le cerveau

Le stress chronique permettrait à des protéines de franchir la barrière hématoencéphalique du cerveau et de déclencher la dépression.

Des chercheurs québécois et canadiens ont fait une découverte qui permet enfin de comprendre le mécanisme du développement de la dépression chez l’humain. L’exposition au stress chronique réduirait l’étanchéité d’une protéine protégeant la barrière hématoencéphalique du cerveau, permettant aux cytokines proinflammatoires de s’y introduire, causant ainsi la dépression. Sonia Lupien, chercheuse en neurosciences, décrit l’étude, qui pourrait aussi aider à mieux comprendre d’autres troubles mentaux.

What do you do when you are already in therapy and on medication but you remain depressed?

We are active on QUORA – a forum where people ask questions looking for answers from experts in any given field. This question seemed particularly poignant to us today.

What do you do when you are already in therapy and on medication but you remain depressed?

The good news? You’re normal – it is very common for it to take a while to find the right medical mix as well as to find the right therapeutic mix.

The bad news? Well – your work is not done. I say “bad news” but really, it’s not that bad if you can keep it in your head that you *are* working toward a solution and that if you keep working, you will find it.

Meditation helped me most of all. As a supplement to both psychotherapy and medication in the beginning. Be careful with meds – some few people do need to stay on them for a long time, but very often, they should be considered a short term boost to get yourself into a place where you are capable of doing the other work you need to do.

That work? Getting to the root issues. And finding ways to get past those issues. To be OK again. To find ways to get yourself OK before things get worse.

Asking this question was smart – you are obviously in tune with yourself, and still asking questions. BE HAPPY ABOUT THAT – it means you’re on the right track.


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The Simple Habit That Can Help You Fight Depression

From MSN

When someone has clinical depression, it’s important they see a doctor or a mental-health professional who can evaluate them properly and provide effective options for treatment. But there’s also something known in the psychology world as subthreshold depression—a condition in which people exhibit some symptoms of depression, but not enough for a clinical diagnosis.

It’s estimated that between 10% and 24% of the population has subthreshold depression (sometimes referred to as mild depression) at some point in their lives. And for those people, a new study suggests, practicing mindfulness meditation may help improve their mood and reduce their risk of developing full-blown depression. The study, published in the Annals of Family Medicine, highlights yet another reason why meditation may be good for both physical and mental health.

The study included 231 Chinese adults with subthreshold depression, meaning they scored between five and nine out of a total of 27 points on a standard depression scale. Half received mindfulness training two hours a week for eight weeks, while the other half received no special treatment but continued to receive their usual medical care.

During the mindfulness training, participants were instructed on setting short- and long-term goals; monitoring their activity and mood; planning out their activities; body scanning; and both sitting and walking meditations. They were also provided a CD of audio recordings for guided meditations and were asked to practice at home at least six days a week.

Read more here…

His College Knew of His Despair. His Parents Didn’t, Until It Was Too Late.

From the New York Times.

In the days after her son Graham hanged himself in his dormitory room at Hamilton College, Gina Burton went about settling his affairs in a blur of efficiency, her grief tinged with a nagging sense that something did not add up.

She fielded requests and sympathy notes from the college, promising the dean of students a copy of his obituary “so you can see how special Hamilton was to him.” This was why his suicide “makes no sense,” she added in a puzzled aside. The next day, Ms. Burton accepted condolences from the college president, and assured him “how right a choice Hamilton was” for her son.

But two weeks later, she read her son’s journal and everything changed. Mr. Burton, a sophomore, wrote that he was flunking three of his four classes and called himself a “failure with no life prospects.” He had struggled to sleep, missed classes, turned in assignments late. The college had known of his difficulty, he wrote, but had been slow to offer help and understanding.

“Would you care to shed some light on this?” Ms. Burton asked in an angry email sent at 2:53 a.m. to the academic dean, with copies to the president and the dean of students. “If this is what drove Graham, I don’t think I’ll be able to cope.”

Read more here…

A good time to think about stereotypes

There is no reason to believe people who live with mental illness are innately more creative than non-mentally ill people, or more violent.

In recent years, this and other mental health awareness campaigns have put a spotlight on the prejudices and false associations that surround mental illness.

Sometimes, the stereotypes don’t seem all that harmful. An image that often comes to mind is of a musician, a poet or painter holed up in an attic somewhere, creating masterpieces while suffering from feverish delusions. It’s a scene we’ve seen countless times in movies.

We all know the stories; Edgar Allan Poe, Ludwig van Beethoven and Vincent van Gogh are but a few luminaries who appear to have suffered from mental illnesses.

In reality though, there is no proof that people who live with mental illness are innately more creative than non-mentally ill people. Creativity is not some sort of mystical gift that comes coupled with a curse. Creative expression — the writings of Poe, the music of Beethoven, the paintings of van Gogh — is the product of hard work.

While a disproportionate number of artists do suffer from mental illness, researchers have theorized that this is because people who have mental illnesses use artistic expression as a coping mechanism.

David Goldbloom, a Canadian psychiatrist who has investigated the link between mental illness and creativity, has pointed out that mental illness actually hampers creativity. When artists are sick, they either can’t create, or the work they do is of poor quality compared to the work they do when they are well.

Certainly, the myth of the mad artist is at least a positive stereotype and far better than the other stereotype associated with mental illness — that of the dangerous, violent, unpredictable criminal.

Of course there is no truth to this idea, either.

Research has shown that a person’s propensity for violence correlates with socio-economic status, gender and life history, not his or her mental health.

However when a violent crime hits the news, we are quick to blame mental illness, which many of us see as the byproduct of faulty wiring. But mental illness is not an entirely biological phenomenon. It is partially the product of social environments.

One of the problems with stereotypes, positive or negative, is that they lead us into making irrational arguments. Just look at the way in which many people have been talking about U.S. President Donald Trump. It has been suggested that Trump’s “unpredictability” is evidence he is mentally ill and therefore unfit for office. A Google search for “Donald Trump unpredictability mental illness” yields 714,000 results.

Regardless of one’s opinion of Trump’s fitness for office, “unpredictability” is not a symptom of any mental illness, or an accurate description of a person suffering from any mental illness. It’s a completely invented facet of a stereotype.

Read more here…

My name is Wil Wheaton. I Live With Chronic Depression and Generalized Anxiety. I Am Not Ashamed.

Before I begin, I want to warn you that this talk touches on many triggering subjects, including self-harm and suicide. I also want you to know that I’m speaking from my personal experience, and that if you or someone you know may be living with mental illness, please talk to a licensed and qualified medical professional, because I am not a doctor.

Okay, let’s do this.

Hi, I’m Wil Wheaton. I’m 45 years-old, I have a wonderful wife, two adult children who make me proud every day, and a daughter in-law who I love like she’s my own child. I work on the most popular comedy series in the world, I’ve been a New York Times Number One Bestselling Audiobook narrator, I have run out of space in my office for the awards I’ve received for my work, and as a white, heterosexual, cisgender man in America, I live life on the lowest difficulty setting — with the Celebrity cheat enabled.

My life is, by every objective measurement, very very good.

And in spite of all of that, I struggle every day with my self esteem, my self worth, and my value not only as an actor and writer, but as a human being.

That’s because I live with Depression and Anxiety, the tag team champions of the World Wrestling With Mental Illness Federation.

And I’m not ashamed to stand here, in front of six hundred people in this room, and millions more online, and proudly say that I live with mental illness, and that’s okay. I say “with” because even though my mental illness tries its best, it doesn’t control me, it doesn’t define me, and I refuse to be stigmatized by it.

So. My name is Wil Wheaton, and I have Chronic Depression.

It took me over thirty years to be able to say those ten words, and I suffered for most of them as a result. I suffered because though we in America have done a lot to help people who live with mental illness, we have not done nearly enough to make it okay for our fellow travelers on the wonky brain express to reach out and accept that help.

I’m here today to talk with you about working to end the stigma and prejudice that surrounds mental illness in America, and as part of that, I want to share my story with you.

When I was a little kid, probably seven or eight years old, I started having panic attacks. Back then, we didn’t know that’s what they were, and because they usually happened when I was asleep, the adults in my life just thought I had nightmares. Well, I did have nightmares, but they were so much worse than just bad dreams. Night after night, I’d wake up in absolute terror, and night after night, I’d drag my blankets off my bed, to go to sleep on the floor in my sister’s bedroom, because I was so afraid to be alone.

There were occasional stretches of relief, sometimes for months at a time, and during those months, I felt like what I considered to be a normal kid, but the panic attacks always came back, and each time they came back, they seemed worse than before.

Read more here…  |  Alternate Site

Recovery is possible when people seek help

For CAMH by Charlie Cummings.

A few short years ago, some people may have said I “had it all.” I was a partner in an investment firm. A family man who spent weekends at the cottage. An avid cyclist and skier.

But I was also secretly struggling, sick with a depression so severe that it eventually grew into psychosis. The mental pain of this depression was unbearable. This is such a dangerous illness that can be life threatening – and I knew where it could lead. I thought my life was over.

And still I tried to keep my illness hidden and hoped no one would notice. I was terrified that if people found I was getting sick that I would lose my job and my family, and everything that went with them. I got sicker and sicker until it was almost too late.