The burn-out was qualified there is little ” evil of the century “. It would affect, according to statistics, 5% to 10% of the active population. Between 1.5 and 3 million people. The harm is diffuse. Moreover, the term “burn-out” is today used to describe any kind of stress, of great lassitude or fatigue in connection with his work. Over 130 events were able to be identified, says Philippe Zawieja in a What do I know ? devoted to this disorder. To give a precise definition is therefore difficult. Nevertheless, a research associate at the Centre for research on risks and crisis of Mines Paris Tech writes : “burnout is a state of mind sustainable, negative and work-related, affecting normal individuals. It is first of all marked by exhaustion, accompanied by anxiety and stress passed, a sense of reduced effectiveness, a drop in motivation and the development of dysfunctional behaviors at work. “

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in an attempt To better understand the topic and help the physicians to better diagnose and take care of, the High Authority of health issued in may 2017 recommendations in which she points out that this syndrome – this is not a disease as such – can have a significant impact on the health and the social life of the people. Its identification is complex, because ” its manifestations differ from one individual to another, settle down gradually, even insidiously, and are sometimes the same as for other mental disorders or diseases.” These symptoms are both emotional (anxiety, sadness, hypersensitivity, lack of emotion…), cognitive (impaired memory, attention, concentration,…), behavioral, or interpersonal functioning (social isolation, aggressive and violent behaviour, loss of empathy, addictive behaviour…), motivational interviewing (disengagement, questioning, professional, low…) and physical (sleep disturbances, musculoskeletal disorders, gastro-intestinal, etc.).

Ambition, competition, impatience

In his book, Philippe Zawieja is interested in the personalities of most-at-risk. He notes that individuals with a proactive, capable of changing their environment, which leads them to seize the opportunities, show initiative, and persevere until the goal is not reached, are protected from burn-out. In contrast, the subjects of a personality type characterized by ambition, the sense of competition, the taste for the urgency, impatience and a certain aggressiveness, who are professionally committed and set high goals, are particularly susceptible to emotional exhaustion. “Perfectionism, defined as the tendency to see the imperfection as unacceptable, leads the subject to set a very high standard, but also to develop a form of anxiety in the face of any possibility of error. This loss of mental energy, in fact, a factor of vulnerability to burn-out, ” he adds.

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While the victims of this syndrome often have a tendency to want to ignore the early warning signals, to redouble their efforts to compensate for what they see as a momentary weakness, the specialists insist on the need to stop working before the aggravation of the disorders. The rest is necessary… and sometimes it needs to be accompanied by psychotherapy or drug treatments. Doctors deem indispensable to organise the return to work. But is this always possible ?

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