There is a connection between burnout and depression

Burnout is on the rise and it is now linked to depression even though many do not want to agree because the sound of depression sounds too extreme.

Chronic stress is like a hook that forcefully drags the life out of someone with no intentions of letting go. At work, many employees are suffering from burnout and they do not have anyone to lookout for them. “Many HR systems are flawed and bosses are less concerned about the mental state of their subordinates” said Yemi who is a Mental health coach. “Employers need to understand that anything that affects the emotional state of a person, can make them drift into depression if not properly managed”.

“World Health Organization has updated its definition of burnout as a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.

According to WHO, it is characterized by three dimensions: 

1) feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; 

2) increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; 

3) reduced professional efficacy.”

We did a survey on who is to look out for the mental health of employees whenever there are experiencing burnouts. Mike who is a HR specialist said “Issues of mental health is best detected by the HR if they are keeping tabs of their staff with proper HR tools”.

“Schonfeld and his colleagues have been studying occupational burnout for years. It first rose to prominence in the 1980s when Christina Maslach developed the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), which evaluates burnout based on three criteria.

Based on that research, Schonfeld says the criteria for burnout are:

  • Emotional exhaustion, such as feeling fatigued when you wake up in the morning or emotionally drained from work.
  • Depersonalization. In other words, being indifferent to other people’s feelings or not caring what happens to them.
  • Feeling less of a sense of personal accomplishment on the job.”

Be it a boss, a team lead, a HR business partner or someone in a place of authority, we need to be conscious of the mental state of our colleagues, subordinates, followers and people around us. Whenever they are going through a burnout do not think it is just a phase and it is part of their duty to manage well under stress, they might not recover after they slip into depression.

This is a campaign by ImeyReach Foundation to #LighUpDepression.

Do you want to educate your team about burnout at work and how to manage the depressed, contact us at

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