At some point, most of us will have experienced a lack of motivation, disrupted sleep patterns or low energy. We may have felt all of these feelings at once, perhaps even every single day. And given the prevalence of these symptoms, it would be easy to chalk them up to a busy, modern lifestyle. However, they could actually be down to a serious condition called emotional exhaustion.
Emotional exhaustion can occur as a result of excessive or prolonged periods of stress. Some common aggravating factors of the condition – which is sometimes referred to as “burnout” – include pressures caused by work or personal commitments. And a person suffering from emotional exhaustion will usually feel generally drained.
Burnout was defined by the German-born psychologist Herbert J. Freudenberger in the 1970s. He described it as a serious stress condition that can cause mental, physical and emotional exhaustion. More severe than regular fatigue, burnout can leave sufferers unable to cope with their stress and take care of their everyday responsibilities.