Friday, May 28, 2010

Burnout Syndrome

Burnout is defined in many ways. The following examples, by leading researchers in the field, are probably the most widely accepted:

Burnout: to deplete oneself. To exhaust one's physical and mental resources. To wear oneself out by excessively striving to reach some unrealistic expectation imposed by oneself or by the values of society. 1

. . . burnout is a process that begins with excessive and prolonged levels of job stress. The stress produces strain in the worker (feelings of tension, irritability and fatigue). The process is completed when the worker defensively copes with the job and becomes apathetic, cynical or rigid. 2

Burnout is a syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment that can occur among individuals who do "people work" of some kind. 3

Burnout Symptoms

The array of symptoms associated with burnout is extensive. Table 1 indicates some symptoms that have been identified in people classified as "burned out." These symptoms/characteristics are classified as physical, psychological, or behavioral. Physical symptoms are characterized by actual changes in physiological body functions. Psychological symptoms show themselves in the attitudes and feelings of the individual. Behavioral symptoms reflect those actions or behaviors manifested as a result of burnout.4

Although not every individual exhibits the same symptoms, some symptoms found in the research literature are: (1) low job performance/low job satisfaction, (2) physical exhaustion/fatigue, (3) rigidity to change/loss of flexibility, (4) decreased communication/withdrawal, (5) physical symptoms, (6) apathy/ loss of concern, (7) cynicism, and (8) emotional exhaustion.5

Table 1. Individual burnout symptoms.
Physical Psychological Behavioral
Physical exhaustion/fatigue Rigidity to change/loss of flexibility Low job performance/low job
Depression Loss of concern and feelings/apathy satisfaction
Insomnia or sleeping more than usual Cynicism/negativism Decreased communication/withdrawal
Headaches Emotional exhaustion/loss of emotional High job turnover/leave position
Gastrointestinal problems/ulcers control Increased absenteeism
Lingering colds/frequent colds/flu Low morale/sense of futility Loss of enthusiasm for job
Weight loss or gain Loss of patience/irritable Increased drug use
Shortness of breath Inability to cope with unwanted Increased marital and family
Hypertension stress conflict
High cholesterol Feelings of anger/bitterness/resent- High alcohol use
Coronary disease ment/disgust Lack of focus on job/lack of
Impaired speech Boredom purpose and priorities
Sexual dysfunction Reduced self-concept Accident proneness
Dehumanizing clientele/labeling Increased complaints about job
Loss of idealism/disillusion Forgetfulness/poor concentration
Frustration Workaholism
Inability to make decisions
Feeling of powerlessness
Guilt feelings/feelings of failure
Increased worry
Over-confidence/taking unusually
high risks
Feelings of being everything to
Loss of charisma
Adapted from a compilation of research by Don Unger, "Superintendent Burnout: Myth or Reality" (Ph.D. dissertation, The Ohio State University, Columbus, 1980.)

Burnout Model

The model in Table 2 summarizes the burnout process. Individuals bring their own personalities, self-concepts, goals, ideals, and levels of commitment to the work situation. They also come with some idea of how to respond to stress. The environment applies stress to the individual both inside and outside the work setting. It then becomes necessary to handle this stress through some type of coping mechanism. Individuals will be able to dissipate some or all of the stress at this point by means of personal or organizational strategies. Osipow and Spokane indicate that:

Stress becomes negative, resulting in strain, if the individual is not able to deal (cope) with stress well and restore stability. Prolonged instability, or intense and extreme instability, is likely to produce negative results.6

One of these negative results is burnout.

Table 2. Model for burnout.
The individual The environment
and its
potential stressors
Processing of stressors Strain Burnout


of commitment

How he/she views
and responds to

Physical environment
Emotional environment
People contact
Collegial social support

Outside work
Physical environment
Emotional environment


Stressors are processed
through the person
and his/her coping skills

Strain results from stress
that is not handled

Accumulated strain
to the point of
reducing a person's

Some stressors are
handled and dissipated
without strain

do you know someone in your family suffering from Burnout Syndrome? I DO!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Last pics from the shoot

So these are some of the pics Heidi didnt send me. She felt they didnt turn out very well. Even her cast offs are great. I love them. It just shows you how good she is and what kind of quality she expects of herself. She really is talented.
I had to cut Josh out of the pic below because he had his eyes closed. It doesnt look too obvious that I cut him out does it?

Lincoln is such a crack up!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Heidi does it again!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


So Heidi brought her new toy to play group yesterday. Lucky for us there werent many people there so she practiced on Sydney. Of Course Sydney LOVES one on one attention (who doesnt).

This is just her hobby right now but I want her to come shoot pics of the boys next. I've got to snag her now while she's new at this and FREE! =)
And yes I went and got Sydney's hair cut right after we left. Heidi said her messy do went right along with her bare feet and moomoo dress.
She's super cute. Sydney and Heidi!