I recently overheard a conversation between two people talking about a colleague of their’s. He had been home sick very often. Burnout. One of those two people then said: “Burnout is such a fashion disease. You just need to say the B-word and the doctor will attest to your disability. It’s just an excuse for being lazy”
According to some psychological statistics, burnout has become a serious problem in Germany, and its incidence is on the rise, nay, soaring high. But what is behind this burnout?
I am rather sure that burnout has little to do with the work load a person is confronted with. I have experienced burnout without even having a job. And now, I have a very time-consuming job, with plenty of work to do. I don’t feel much overworked, however. so what do I perceive to be the true cause of burnout?
I very strongly believe that burnout is caused by frustration. The sense of being powerless is very depressing. And this is a junction, where our form of society and economy work to the detriment of the pre-burnout person. Our socioeconomic philosophy tells us that having is happiness. Being able to consume is equated with being in control. This is where I telk you that a candle that consumes just burns out faster, because I love this candle metaphor. The way back into control is rationalization.
This is also why I don’t believe that the current interest policy of the European Central Bank will benefit us. We don’t need to take big credits willy-nilly, because it’s so cheap right now. All tbe money we are earning is becoming worthless. Real-estate prices have skyrocketed because the agents expect people to have access to large amounts of low interest money. A home would be something useful, however, people buy so much more junk, because they are afraid that they won’t be able to afford it once the interest rates increase again to halt the inflation.
I’ve already said junk, so here’s the mandatory question: why pay little money for it, if you could just save it? I know I am not the best example when it comes to restraint. I like buying junk. No, actually I don’t. I was just really desperate for a very long time. Now I sort of regret having wasted so much time, money and energy on that kind of junk. It was just an illusion of comfort and joy, which I so desperately held on to, that I burned out trying to feed my face. And deep down I was aware of the futility of it all.
Sure, there are people who take advantage of these new diseases. But it is a very real condition. And in my humble opinion, the best way to alleviate it is restraint and rationality.