Stealth Stress: Cumulative Stress and Burnout

The signs of cumulative stress or burnout are much more subtle, much more stealthy, than immediate stress and, therefore, often go unnoticed or unaddressed. Their impact can be anything but subtle or stealthy, however.

A particular problem is that stress can accumulate or add up from multiple responses and or multiple sources. While an individual incident can be stressful, multiple calls can each bring another drop to an individual’s emotional bucket that eventually overflows. Financial, familial and personal concerns stir the bucket even more.

Generally speaking, there are three symptoms of Burnout. These are:

(1) Emotional exhaustion –feeling like there is no positive energy left, no energy to care or even feel any emotion.

(2) Depersonalization –no longer seeing individuals as people, but just as cases or responses.

(3) Feelings of low accomplishment – the individual feels as though he or she is less effective or ineffective, rarely or never successful and pessimistic about any future success.