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2000 Jordan Institute
for Families

Vol. 3, No. 1
April 1998

Symptoms of Burnout

  • Feeling "empty" or "trapped."

  • Depressed mood, helplessness, hopelessness, and impotence.

  • Sense of failure, insufficiency, and powerlessness.

  • Aggression and anxiety, diminished tolerance for frustration.

  • Irritability, oversensitivity, and hostile or suspicious behavior.

  • Inability to concentrate, forgetfulness, difficulty making decisions

  • Nervous tics, restlessness, inability to relax.

  • Headaches, nausea, muscle pain, sexual problems, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite and shortness of breath, chronic fatigue, ulcers, gastrointestinal disorders and coronary heart disease. Colds or flu that will not seem to go away.

  • Increased consumption of stimulants (e.g., coffee), alcohol or illegal substances.

  • Interpersonal problems with colleagues, supervisors, and subordinates, withdrawal from social contacts, decreased involvement with recipients.


Schaufeli, W. & Buunk, B. (1996). Professional burnout. In M. Schabracq, J. Winnubst, and C. Cooper (Eds.), Handbook of Work and Health Psychology. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc. 311-346.

1998 Jordan Institute for Families