Burnout: Everything You Need To Know

Burnout is a syndrome that affects individuals who, when depleting their energy sources after an excessive and prolonged stress crisis, reach their limit and start to suffer physical and / or mental damage. The connection between the students is stronger than anyone can imagine, in fact, many people are unaware about this syndrome. This may be due from the multiples symptoms that range from  random headache, stress, muscle aches to depression, low self esteem and memories failures, what can a problem in the diagnoses, as explained by psychologist Bianca Vieira: ”The  multiple symptoms  can be confused with other pathologies, such as depression, so it is important to listen to the person who seeks help due to stress.”

The group most likely to acquire this syndrome are workers, however, there is no evidence that students cannot develop it, quite the contrary, both share the same 'trigger': excessive stress in their routine. Considering that the student's daily life can be as demanding as that of the worker, there is the possibility of resulting in mental exhaustion due to the wear and tear of the school daily life, the excessive  preoccupation about the future (anxiety), pressure to reach personal goals or social and economic issues. “We are all affected by stress, the question is how each person deals with it. How you deal with stress can increase or decrease the possibility of developing Burnout”, warns the psychologist. Pexels / Andrea Piacquadio

In addition to concern for the future and personal pressures, another aggravating factor for this syndrome to occur is the current historical content  in which we live, or rather, the Covid-19 pandemic. Where people not only had to change the whole study routine, but also had to face the chaotic end of the semester, in which there are tests, seminars and assignments to be delivered in a short period of time, which can trigger an emotional instability resulting in the syndrome. However, Bianca Vieira calls attention to an important fact: the variation in the way people react to situations differently. “It is important to emphasize that each person has a history and a context of life, so each one adapts in different ways to this pandemic moment. What creates stress for some people, can be peaceful for others and vice versa", emphasizes.

For educator Bruna Casiraghi, who works in a service sector for higher education students, there was an increase in students with stress. She credits this increase in part to the pandemic and in part to the lack of perspective on the student's life. “They end up studying for four, five years, and now they don't know if they are going to get an internship or if they are going to do another year of college.” Woman with mask on laptop Photo by Engin Akyurt from Unsplash

Regarding the institution's role in helping the student, she says that if the diagnosis is burnout or depression - one of the multiple symptoms of the syndrome - it is not relevant for the university, because the trigger for these two diagnoses is the same and the role of the university is to adapt in the best way to support and help that student who is suffering. "Burnout is linked to the process of mental exhaustion, so we have to think about strategies within the institution to mitigate this". One of these strategies is the use of psychologists in the institution and, if necessary, a psychological intervention to help the school team to deal with these situations and in the student's family, to help in the treatment of the student and in monitoring his progress. In addition to the institution's effort, there must be the student's effort to adhere to the treatment. Two women looking at laptop Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels

According to Bianca Vieira, there are several techniques to reduce stress, but she reaffirms that people have different reactions to the same event: “The annotation technique is great for organizing and containing anxiety, and can help to relieve stress during many changes . However, depending on the level of stress the person is in, it may not be a solution due to other factors that generate stress”.

The syndrome has treatment. It can be performed through exercises that stimulate relaxation, physical exercises, psychotherapy and use of medications, at the discretion of the health professional who will make the diagnosis (psychiatrist) and depends on each case and reported symptoms.


The article above was edited by Thays Avila.

Liked this type of content? Check Her Campus Casper Libero home page for more!