Rus Articles Journal

The syndrome of professional burning out

Professional burning out results from internal accumulation of negative emotions without “discharge“ or “release“ from them. Professional burning out conducts to exhaustion emotionally - energetic and personal resources of the person.

in recent years in Russia as well as in the developed countries, even more often speak not only about a professional stress, but also about a syndrome of professional combustion or burning out of workers (the term “professional burning out“ as the most adequate will be applied further).

Professional burning out is the syndrome developing against a chronic stress and the leader to exhaustion emotionally - energetic and personal resources of the working person. Professional burning out results from internal accumulation of negative emotions without corresponding “discharge“ or “release“ from them. In essence, professional burning out is a distress or the third stage of the general adaptation syndrome - an exhaustion stage (according to G. Selye).

In 1981 E. Moppoy (A. Morrow) offered the bright emotional image reflecting in his opinion, internal state of the worker testing a distress of professional burning out:“ Smell of the burning psychological conducting“.

What workers make risk group in that case when we speak about professional burning out? At the answer to this question it is possible to mark out the following regularities.

In - the first , to professional burning out employees who by the nature of service are forced to communicate much and intensively with various people familiar and unfamiliar are more subject to

. First of all it is heads, sales managers, health and social workers, consultants, teachers, police officers, etc. And especially quickly the employees having introversive character, individually “burn out“ - psychological features of which will not be coordinated with professional requirements of communicative professions. They have no excess of vital energy, are characterized by modesty and shyness, are inclined to isolation and concentration on a subject of professional activity. They are capable to accumulate emotional discomfort without “dropping“ negative experiences in external environment.

In - the second , to a syndrome of professional burning out the people experiencing the continuous intra personal conflict in connection with work are more subject to

. Most often as in Russia, and abroad it are the women enduring an internal contradiction between work and a family, and also “pressure“ it is due to the need constant to prove the professional opportunities in the conditions of fierce competition with men.

B - the third , workers whose professional activity takes place in conditions of sharp instability and chronic fear of loss of a workplace are more subject to professional burning out. In Russia first of all people treat this group 45 years for which the probability of finding of a new workplace in case of unsatisfactory working conditions at old work sharply decreases because of age are more senior. Besides, in this group there are workers taking a position of the external consultants forced to look for independently work in labor market.

B - the fourth , against a permanent stress the syndrome of burning out is shown in those conditions when the person gets to a new, unusual situation in which he has to show high efficiency. For example, after loyal conditions of training in a higher educational institution at a full-time department the young specialist begins to perform the work connected with high responsibility and sharply feels the incompetence. In this case symptoms of professional burning out can be shown after six months of work.

B - the fifth , residents of large megalopolises who live in conditions of the imposed communication and interaction with a large number of strangers in public places are more subject to a syndrome of burning out.

With smaller risk for health and less expressed decrease in efficiency a syndrome of professional burning out are endured by workers who are characterized by the following features. First of all it is the people having good health and it is conscious, purposefully caring for the physical state (they constantly play sports and support a healthy lifestyle). These are the people having a high self-assessment and self-confidence, the abilities and opportunities.

needs to be emphasized with

also that professional burning out concerns the people having experience of successful overcoming of a professional stress and capable structurally less to change in intense conditions.

If to speak about character of such people, then it is necessary to allocate such individually - psychological features as high mobility, openness, sociability, independence and aspiration to rely on own forces.

At last, an important distinctive feature of the people steady against professional burning out, is their ability to form and support in itself positive, optimistical installations and values as concerning itself, and other people and life in general.

the Symptoms making a syndrome of professional burning out can conditionally be divided into three main groups: psychophysical, socially - psychological and behavioural.

professional burning out treat psychophysical symptoms such as:

  • feeling of constant, ultimate fatigue not only in the evenings, but also in the mornings, right after a dream (a symptom of chronic fatigue);
  • feeling of emotional and physical exhaustion;
  • decrease in a susceptibility and reactivity on changes of external environment (lack of reaction of curiosity to a factor of novelty or reaction of fear to a dangerous situation);
  • general astenisation (weakness, decrease of the activity and energy, deterioration in biochemistry of blood and hormonal indicators);
  • frequent causeless headaches; continuous frustration zheludochno - an intestinal path;
  • sharp loss or sharp increase in weight;
  • full or partial sleeplessness (fast falling asleep and lack of a dream early in the morning, starting with 4 hours of morning or, on the contrary, inability to fall asleep in the evening to 2 - 3 hours of night and “heavy“ awakening in the morning when it is necessary to rise for work);
  • constant slowed down, a drowsiness and desire to sleep throughout the day;
  • short wind or violations of breath at physical or emotional activity;
  • noticeable decrease in external and internal touch sensitivity: deterioration in sight, hearing, sense of smell and touch, loss of internal, corporal feelings;
  • it is possible, professional burning out is one of the reasons of decrease in life expectancy in Russia, especially at men.

So, among all died men in Russia in the last 5 years of the man of efficient age from 15 to 59 years make more than 80%. However, in 1965 mortality of men of efficient age in the USSR was higher - 98%. And if earlier doctors called such reasons of high mortality among men as accidents, poisonings and violent deaths, then in recent years they speak about a stress and burning out as the leading factors.

K socially - to psychological symptoms professional burning out such unpleasant feelings and reactions as belong:

  • indifference, boredom, passivity and a depression (the lowered emotional tone, feeling of depression);
  • the increased irritability on insignificant, small events;
  • frequent nervous “failures“ (flashes of unmotivated anger or refusals of communication, “leaving in“);
  • continuous experience of negative emotions for which in an external situation of the reasons is not present (sense of guilt, offenses, suspiciousness, shame, constraint);
  • feeling of unconscious concern and the increased uneasiness (feeling that “something not as it is necessary“);
  • feeling of hyper responsibility and constant sensation of fear what “will not turn out“ or the person “will not cope“
  • the general negative installation on vital and professional prospects (as “As Try, All the Same Nothing Will Turn Out“).

the following acts and forms of behavior of the worker belong To behavioural symptoms professional burning out:

  • feeling that work becomes heavier and heavier and to carry out it - more and more difficultly;
  • the employee considerably changes the operating mode of day (early comes to work and late leaves or, on the contrary, late comes to work and early leaves);
  • the worker constantly takes
  • regardless of objective need work home, but it does not do the house;
  • the head refuses decision-making, formulating various reasons for explanations for and to others;
  • feeling of uselessness, disbelief in improvements, decrease in enthusiasm in relation to work, indifference to results;
  • non-performance of important, priority tasks and “jamming“ on fine details, the expenditure of the most part of working hours which is not conforming to office requirements of a little realized or not realized performance of automatic and elementary actions;
  • distancing from employees and clients, increase of inadequate criticality;
  • abuse of alcohol, sharp increase of the cigarettes smoked in a day, use of drugs.

It is noticed that the symptomatology of professional burning out can be “infectious“ and be shown not only at certain workers. Quite often professional burning out of the organizations which is shown that the vast majority of employees has an internal physical or emotional state with the same symptoms, and also the same forms of behavior meets. In such cases individual distinctions between workers “are considerably erased“, they become unnaturally similar and identical, as if “as like as two peas“. People become pessimists who have no belief in positive changes at work and something to change an opportunity by own efforts.


the Reasons of professional burning out of the organization constant contradictions in the strategic and tactical management act; excessive, impracticable requirements to workers; transfer of responsibility to the employees who do not have powers; absence of objective criteria for an assessment of results of work; inefficient system of motivation and stimulation of personnel.

Symptoms of professional burning out of the organizations : inadequately increased turnover of staff (from 100% and more in a year, i.e. within a year practically all employees leave, and some work less than a year); the reduced motivation to work, too frequent “smoke breaks“ and “tea“ breaks (more than 30% of the total amount of working hours); professional dependence of personnel on heads which is shown or in the raised and inadequate critical relation to management, or in feeling of helplessness without the active help from the management; too high conflictness of personnel and the heavy atmosphere in the company. Both for the certain worker, and for the organization the condition of professional burning out can be unconscious or misunderstood and estimated. Own unsuccessful state is difficult for both the person, and the organization, it is almost impossible to see from outside therefore there are no conditions in time to begin the correctional and restoring actions.