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Burnout

Smith's Cognitive-Affective Stress Model of burnout along with the work of many other researchers conceptualizes burnout as a response to stress.

Smith's Cognitive-Affective Stress Model of burnout along with the work of many other researchers conceptualizes burnout as a response to stress. However, many factors including individual differences and social influences affect the presence and development of burnout. Is burnout just a response to stress? Why or why not?

"However, many factors including individual differences and social influences affect the presence and development of burnout.

Stress can be caused by many contributing factors. Stress, arguably, is the byproduct of when these factors begin to have an adverse effect on performance, physical well-being, and even health. The source and origin of stress can be either internal or external. Environmental stressors such as a crying baby, an unforgiving crowd, and even extremely high temperatures serve as potential sources of external stressors. Internal battles such as low self-esteem, self-doubt, and unwarranted anxiety can also be internal stressors.


Burnout, then, is more than just a response to stress. Armon and colleagues (2014) cite that burnout is a chronic state comprised of symptoms of emotional exhaustion, fatigue, and cognitive weariness. It Is the active combination of stressors that leads to the physical manifestation of lack of performance. One stand-alone event cannot always be categorized as leading to burnout. Often times, it is a series and or crescendo of these events that leads to burnout.

"One stand-alone event cannot always be categorized as leading to burnout. Often times, it is a series and or crescendo of these events that leads to burnout.”

I worked in full-time inner-city ministry for over five years. Within my line of work, it seem like someone always needed something from me. I was giving, giving, giving. What made my job thankless at times was the lack of appreciation that I felt that some people had. When you take this attitude coupled with lackluster pay, lack of energy, and ultimately apathy, it leads to burn out. It is not just a ‘stress response’, it is a systematic process. Gorgievski et al (2011) define it as “the end state of a long- term process of resource loss that gradually develops over time depleting energetic resources”. I have not only witnessed this within myself, but I saw it and many others who suffered the same plight.


References:

Armon, G., Melamed, S., Toker, S., Berliner, S., & Shapira, I. (2014). Joint effect of chronic medical illness and burnout on depressive symptoms among employed adults. Health Psychology, 33(3), 264-272. doi:10.1037/a0033712


Gorgievski, M. J., Halbesleben, J. B., & Bakker, A. B. ( 2011). Expanding the boundaries of psychological resource theories. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 84, 1– 7. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8325.2010.02015.x



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