Burn out: intense fatigue, loss of control, mental exhaustion… how to prevent relapse ?

Burn out: intense fatigue, loss of control, mental exhaustion... how to prevent relapse ?

Burn out : comment prévenir la rechute ?

The figures illustrate both the common nature and the complexity of defining the phenomenon: according to studies, between 300,000 and 2.5 million French people are affected by a burnout situation. In other words, a real epidemic, with a central issue of care and relapse prevention.

The World Health Organization (WHO) characterizes burnout "as a feeling of intense fatigue, loss of control and d’ inability to achieve concrete results at work". For its part, the High Authority of Health (HAS), defines a "physical, emotional and mental exhaustion which results from prolonged investment in physically demanding work situations. emotional".


In the presence of burnout syndrome, the goal is to press the ‘Pause button. ’ "The best medicine remains work stoppage and therefore rest", specifies Dr. Patrick Lemoine, psychiatrist, author of What are the symptoms for ? (Odile Jacob Editor). In other words, to move away from the socio-professional context at the origin of the problem.

Drug withdrawal ?

According to the HAS, "the treatment of the disorder may include non-drug treatment based on psychotherapeutic or psychocorporeal interventions&amp ;quot;, carried out by a health professional or psychologist trained in these techniques. Dr Lemoine agrees and even evokes a form of "drug withdrawal", because like "neuroleptics and other tranquilizers" , many molecules "tend to mask the reality of suffering and illness". Antidepressants ? The psychiatrist is more nuanced: "they are effective on anxiety disorders and severe depression", insists-t -il. "They should be administered if possible not for too long and in doses that are not too large".

Identify and remove the cause

Beyond rest, the treatment must also and above all be conducive to "help the patient identify what triggered their EMDR*".

If work organization issues arise, "it is particularly important to learn to fragment work, to know how to identify key moments of the day when we are most efficient. But the psychiatrist does not deny that in certain case, "like people who work in logistics warehouses, with complex schedules, it can be difficult to intervene. Because we also come up against a socio-economic reality…" And to warn: " if the person returns to work without the cause of their burnout having been removed, there is a high risk of relapse…"

* "This therapeutic approach aims to treat the consequences of psychological trauma by combining a mental recall by the patient of the traumatic memory and alternating bilateral sensory stimulations (with induced eye movements, for example by asking the patient to follow the movement of the therapist's fingers or alternative tactile stimulations on the knees, or stimulations hearing). Eye movements practiced in this way should allow the reactivation of natural management of painful memories and the restoration of self-esteem, according to the definition of l’Inserm.

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