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Signs of Burn Out or Depression

Updated on May 4, 2011

Signs of Burn Out or Depression

Sometimes a person can become overwhelmed with chores, work load, and family life. Sometimes a person can get burnt out with work, home, or just everything in general.

What are some of the signs you can be close to “burn out?”

General Tired Feeling

If you are tired on a daily bases, and have no reason to be, this could be one of the symptoms in burn out. You may be tempted into taking energy drinks, or drink an extra amount of caffeine to compensate.

Maybe your adrenaline levels were working overtime due to the stress put on you. This can cause a person to feel exhausted.

Change in moods:

If you or someone you know has had a sudden change in moods, it can indicate the pressures in life are stacking up. Is he/she edgy or short fused for simple reasons? This can mean that the pressures are getting to them.

Not being as active as he/she used to be:

Did he/she lose interest in activities that they used to enjoy? Are they going from out-going to a sudden hobbit? A change in behavior is one signal of stress. They do this because they are tired, and just do not see things as interesting anymore

Changes in physical appearance:

Has he/she stopped caring about their physical appearance like they used to? Have they let themselves go? This is another indicator that something could be wrong, and should send out warning signs. It is another change in behavior that should not go un-noticed.


Has this person been active, and has suddenly decided to become lazy? They might have even stopped checking the mail, because the stress is impacting their life. They may have stopped talking to family and friends. They may have just become what you would consider lazy.

Changes in eating habits:

People can eat more or less, depending on them. Sometimes a person will eat more, for comfort reasons. Sometimes a person will eat less because of their stress level, and forgetting. Do not ignore sudden changes in eating habits.

Changes in Attendance from Work:

If someone suddenly calls out of work a lot when they used to have a good attendance record, it is a red flag. He/she could just be tired of work, sick more often (also contributes to depression or burn out), or just not feeling like going to work. This change should be paid attention to. Often times, we over look this. Why would a person that used to be responsible, and dedicated to their job, have a sudden change?

Any other sudden changes:

People are creatures of habit. Pay attention to a person when they decide to develop habits that are out of their character.

What can you do about it?

If you or a close friend starts showing signs of burn out or depression, it should not be ignored. The symptoms listed can also be for other reasons that are not due to mental health. It is important that the person showing the sign listed gets a check-up from both a physician, and a mental health care provider. The information listed in this article is not to replace the information, nor is it more important than what your doctor can tell you. Listed are some of the symptoms of burn out, and or depression. There may be more or less symptoms, depending on the person. We are all unique, and display things in different ways. If you are ever asking yourself this question, about you or someone else, it is another sign; you should get help, or point to the right direction for someone that needs it.

Encourage them to seek help:

You can, and should encourage a person to eek help if you feel they are not well. You can do this by mentioning it to them. They may refuse. However, if the problem is serious enough, such as the person threatening their life, or the life of others, the authorities can do something to help.

Find resources in your community:

Most communities have resources available to help a person that is suffering burn out or depression. You should look for them in your community. There are also places online that has the resources available to help someone. If you feel there is something wrong, get help. Some people do not realize there is something wrong. Do not be one of those people. If you suspect a friend or family member going through depression, make sure they get help.


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    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 5 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      Thank you so much for the heads up when we are getting close to burn out. This really helps. Great hub, the pictures are so true. I tend to push myself to the point of exhaustion. These reminders to watch out for are great!

    • sarclair profile image

      sarclair 5 years ago

      I hope this helps you. This is not to replace anything of a Dr., psychiatrist, or anything of that nature, when in doubt, please speak with a professional.

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 6 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      depression is real for so many of us, thanks for reminders of these warning signs, to rest and relax.

    • sarclair profile image

      sarclair 6 years ago

      Thank you for the comment Jalus. I hope this article about burn out/depression has helped your friend. Sometimes a person goes without realizing they are burnt out or depressed. I hope your friend gets better.

    • profile image

      Jalus 6 years ago

      Great hub! I have noticed these signs in a good friend lately. I have talked with her about it and I am told everything is fine. I will be sending her to this page. Thanks

    • sarclair profile image

      sarclair 6 years ago

      I do agree, you should find a way to unwind, however, some people forget about doing this, and are in a position they do not want to be in. Thank you for the advice midnightbliss.

      I appreciate the symptoms you have added to this hub telltale. I am sure it will come in use to someone. Thank you.

    • telltale profile image

      telltale 6 years ago

      I, normally, have an extremely good memory, both short and long, even until now in my 60s. At that time I was less than 30, and I found that I cannot remember information I had just read, which is abnormal, and it continued this way through several documents. That was when I decided to find out what's wrong with my memory, even though I did not expect a burnt out then, I know of the term. It may have been a lucky guess then, before the visit to my doctor... :)

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 6 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      its important that we unwind once in a while to avoid burn outs. these signs are often unnoticed so its important that we pay attention to what our bodies are telling us.

    • sarclair profile image

      sarclair 6 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your information telltale. I forgot to list it, but a short memory is another symptom.

      Working 16 hour days is hard, on anyone. It is good that you got treatment at the right time. How did you know when you needed to look into it further?

    • telltale profile image

      telltale 6 years ago

      In my personal experience, I noticed that the "short" memory is also affected, when a person is about to burn out, even though one's age is in his/her 20s or 30s. I was fortunate enough to recognize it and got it confirmed after seeking medical advice, and went on a vacation to recuperate... used to work a 16 hour day then, consecutively, and that was when I seem to forget information I just read. Just sharing my experience. :)