Depression and burnout can creep up on a busy professional. Many professionals have that stubborn Type A overachiever style of personality very few are willing to admit a weakness, such as exhaustion or depression.

Some professionals experience a gradual worsening of symptoms and others are felled by it seemingly overnight with no warning. It really does depend on the individual and the types of stress they are under.

Yet another insidious fact of life when it comes to depression and burnout is that not everybody experiences all of these symptoms. Some people may only find one sphere of their daily existence affected, such as their physical wellness and not appear to have problems in other areas such as work.

However usually depression begins with physical symptoms that include –

  • Disturbances in sleep
  • Extreme weight gain or loss
  • Excessive snacking or eating
  • Fatigue and a lack of energy
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Digestive problems or headaches
  • General pain with no specific cause

Next, we look at the work related problems that are a result of the cognitive difficulties caused by stress. These include –

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Indecisiveness
  • Imagining suicide
  • Lack of interest in work
  • Pessimism about the future

The emotional signs of depression include –

  • sadness
  • unexplained shame
  • worthlessness
  • feelings of guilt
  • irritability
  • feelings of resentment
  • inability to feel pleasure in life
  • helplessness
  • hopelessness
  • emotional pain

Finally, the behavioural signs and symptoms of depression and burnout include:

  • withdrawal
  • being uncommunicative
  • crying spells
  • slowing down
  • restlessness
  • neglect of responsibilities
  • neglect of personal hygiene
  • substance abuse

Also common is the inappropriate expression of feelings such as anger or resentment. A person under too much stress is also always irritable.


Burnout is a type of depression but the symptoms of fatigue, apathy and negativity are extreme. The person may be so tired that they may not be able to focus at all on work. They become overwhelmed by a loss of control over circumstances in life (such as a spouse leaving) or by being unable to meet deadlines.

Ironically the last thing that some doctors on the verge of burnout is exhausted. Many use their Type A personalities to keep plugging on against great odds of success. In fact many doctors who are actually burnt out seem to be incapable of cutting back on the number of hours they spend at work.

Many people can’t get out bed when they are burnt out. It is often accompanied by illness and an abuse of recreational drugs. By the time a person is burnt out he or she is usually also worthy of a diagnosis of clinical depression. Some doctors will also diagnose this as chronic fatigue symptom.

Life coaching can help in this case by first of all encouraging the individual to come out of self-imposed isolation and talk about problems. A life coach can also help a person suffering from depression cope with inappropriate feelings of shame and know the difference between how one feels about reality and what is really going on. This can really help a depressed or burnt out depression gain perspective and strength and move on to reorganize their lives so that they feel better.

For more information or to book a consultation about anti-aging, diet and weight loss programs or any health issue you may be experiencing, visit the Pinewood Natural Health Clinic website that has a list of full services and products at or call our Toronto Office at (416)-656- 8100. We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at (905)-427-0057. You can also email us at and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our holistic health services.

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