Health

Work Burnout Can Have Damaging Effects on Your Mind and Your Physical Body

Work Burnout Can Have Damaging Effects on Your Mind and Your Physical Body

 

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You may love your job, you may hate your job — but either way, a lack of control over your work or work environment, frustration in the workplace, or even a lack of hope after entering into a job can cause what’s called “work burnout”.

 

Burnout is not clinical depression, as research has indicated that the two are “separate entities”.  However, they seem to share similar qualities, especially in cases where the person is suffering a severe case of burnout.  

 

What is Work Burnout?

 

Work burnout is a kind of chronic stress that can lead to mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion.  Burnout is something that creeps up on you over time, the longer you have stress that hasn’t been addressed.  The severest cases of burnout can cause an individual to not be able to function on an effective level both in their professional and personal lives.

 

Burnout is something that anyone in any kind of job can develop, and this includes STEM fields.  

 

 

RELATED:  #STEMSaturdays by Melissa C Marquez — The Talk People Rarely Have — Getting Real About Mental Health

 

 

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In fact, women in STEM are more likely to suffer burnout according to research released in early 2017.  Two researchers, Daphne Pedersen and Krista Minnotte, who are both professors of sociology at the University of North Dakota, surveyed 117 people working in STEM.  About 30% of the responses were from women, and on average, they reported higher levels of job burnout than the men who responded to the questionnaire.  

 

This is most likely due to employers not making their women employees feel like they fit in, says a professor from the University of Reading, Avril MacDonald.

 

 

What Damage Burnout Can Create

 

As brought out at the outset, work burnout and have many harmful effects on the mind and body.  

 

(Resourced from Psychology Today) For one thing, maybe the most obvious symptom of work burnout, this amount of stress can cause chronic fatigue.  Over time, people suffering from burnout start to feel a lack of energy that they were not used to before, and can become physically and emotionally exhausted as the burnout continues. 

 

This can then lead to insomnia, because even if you feel tired, it can be hard to fall asleep and stay asleep due to the amount of stress.

 

This kind of long-lasting lethargy can lead to effects on the mind, such as lack of attention and concentration, as well as forgetfulness.  As the burnout becomes more severe, this can translate to depression and irritability that can become almost uncontrollable if it remains untreated.

 

We have all heard statistics that say that stress is on a steady incline in the US.  As far as burnout goes, many people from the ages of eighteen to twenty-nine knew of someone who was professionally diagnosed with work burnout.  54% of that demographic (of the people surveyed) didn’t know someone diagnosed with burnout, but 46% of people did know someone diagnosed with burnout.  

 

24% of people in that age ground said that the person they knew who was diagnosed with burnout was themselves.  

 

If you know someone, or you are someone, suffering from burnout: help needs to be found.  Whether in the form of finding a new job that causes less stress, taking a long vacation (if one can afford it), or professional counseling, burnout needs to be treated before it gets out of hand. 

 

List of free emergency hotlines via pleaselive.org.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mariah Loeber is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of FemSTEM.com. She studies English and is a huge fan of all things STEM.  Find her on Twitter.


 
 

Opinion: Let's Stop Taking Celebrity Advice on Health

 By Andrew Campbell - Flickr

By Andrew Campbell - Flickr

 

TAKING CELEBRITY ADVICE ON HEALTH IS GETTING OUT OF HAND

Tom Brady is a hotshot celebrity NFL player, if you haven't heard of him before.  If you have heard of him, and watch the NFL to any extent, you either love him with a passion, or hate him with one.  So, as plenty of celebrities tend to do, Tom Brady recently came out with a book back in September.  (We're all talking about it now because he was in the Super Bowl this past season.)   The kicker?  It's not about his NFL career, or his family, or anything along those lines.  No -- it's about his diet.

 

That might be okay if it didn't try to go off about the 'science' behind what he eats, and how it lowers his PH balance, and help speed recovery to the body.

 

Vox.com covered this story, having spoke to scientists about Brady's health claims.  They asked Stuart Phillips, a professor in the department of kinesiology at McMaster University, about Brady's claim that his diet effects the PH balance (lowering it, specifically) in his body.  He told Vox:"It’s next to impossible — in fact, I can’t think of an instance — where people have been able to change their blood pH with diet.  So there’s zero foundation for the notion that alkaline and acid foods [are] able to do anything to your body.”

 

His anti-inflammatory diet (which, to be noted, is not bad in itself) doesn't speed his recovery as he claims, either.  At least, there's not scientific backing for that claim.  "I don’t know a morsel of new scientific knowledge [supporting] what Tom Brady would like for you, that his dietary practice is linked to his career longevity or his success as an athlete.” Phillips had continued with Vox.  They had asked others, too, who said that the only post-excerise diet that had been scientifically shown to speed body recovery is "is getting enough carbohydrates to replenish glycogen that’s been depleted after a workout, or protein to help with muscle building."

 

Tom Brady is Far From Being the Only Celebrity to Spread Pseudoscience On Health, And He's Not the Worst Either

 

As Vox explained, Tom Brady's diet is actually good for you (though it is a little on the extreme side), and if you were to follow his diet, you most likely wouldn't hurt yourself.  Though, it should be noted that any major diet change should be expressed to a doctor, because every diet effects everyone differently. The harm of following celebrity advice though, for reasons that are not based in science is a real issue however.

 

Take Gwyneth Paltrow, who we have discussed before. She is arguably the worst offender in spreading health pseudoscience in recent history.  The celebrity, probably known to most as playing Pepper Potts in recent years, has her own website in which is is constantly writing about the health benefits of stickers and putting external items into specific holes in your body (don't do this unless it has been recommended by your doctor).  When explaining her supposed science on these topics, she doesn't ever mention her supposed experts, and she has been known to block her critics on social media, which doesn't add any credibility to her.

 

Then take supposed celebrity doctors as Doctor Oz, who has been in court many times for advertising false claims, and you have a major problem on your hands.

 

This Common Problem Really Shouldn't Be One

 

You'd think it would be common sense not to listen to everything anyone spouts off.  You would also think it common sense to not blindly follow someone just because they are rich and you see them on your television all the time...  however.  This is where we run into this problem.  People blindly following their idols, the men and women they look up to because they seemed to have "made it".  So they must know what's going on!  They must have the best diet, fit for everyone.

 

The bottom line is that they don't.

 

People have a very hard time thinking for themselves in cases like this.  There is actually a diagnosable mental illness known as celebrity worship syndrome "Anxiety, depression, high stress levels, poor body image, isolation, and obsessive-compulsive behaviors: All of these have been linked to celebrity worship syndrome because the patient's energy is focused entirely on someone who may not even know who they are," Says Medical Daily.

 

This gives way for these celebrities, whether they mean to or not (and many of them do mean to in order to sell products) to hurt their fans.  Health claims that are not based in science are everywhere in our society, constantly.  It doesn't help in the least that some of these claims are being peddled by people who know that they have a very large following that will do anything they say, or buy anything that they promote.  People as a whole really need to stop looking to celebrity advice on maybe anything, but especially as far as health goes.

 

If you need health or diet advice, go visit your doctor. They have been medically trained in fields that these celebrity figures have not been.

 
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mariah Loeber is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of FemSTEM.com. She studies English and is a huge fan of things STEM.  Find her on Twitter.