Burnout vs. Depression – What’s the Difference?

If you’re not feeling like yourself at the moment, it’s important that you seek help, especially if you are dealing with some of the symptoms of burnout or depression.

While they may have overlapping symptoms and a similar impact on your day-to-day life, different strategies are required to overcome them.

What is Burnout?

Burnout is primarily a form of exhaustion, which may take a toll on both your physical and mental health. It is typically the product of being overworked or overstressed. 

The symptoms of burnout include: 

  • Fatigue/exhaustion 
  • Being unable to get enough sleep
  • Feeling disinterested or cynical
  • A weakened immune system 
  • Higher levels of stress and anxiety 
  • High blood pressure
  • Finding it hard to focus or concentrate

Studies have found that the prevalence of burnout has increased in recent years. For example, in a recent report, over 38% of people are currently experiencing burnout, “a notable increase from 34.7% in 2021 and 29.6% in 2020.

What is Depression?

Depression is a diagnosable mood disorder that impacts your emotional well-being. While most people do not feel happy 100% of the time, those dealing with depression experience intense periods of sadness and ‘low’ moods. Those diagnosed with depression may also experience co-occurring disorders such as anxiety. 

Symptoms of depression include: 

  • Prolonged feelings of sadness 
  • Loss of interest in hobbies/day-day activities/work
  • Sudden irritability or outbursts
  • Problems sleeping 
  • Weight fluctuation or loss of appetite 
  • Health complications such as unexplained pain and headaches
  • Inability to focus
  • Low levels of energy 

A recent study states, “depressive disorder affects approximately 17.3 million American adults, or about 7.1% of the U.S. population aged 18 and older, in a given year.” As a result, while you can feel isolated when dealing with this condition, it’s important to note that you are not alone. 

How are they Different?

Perhaps the primary difference between burnout and depression is the fact that the latter is a diagnosable condition that can impact you at any stage in your life. 

Burnout, on the other hand, is a response to being caught in a stressful situation at work or in your personal life.

Another way in which they differ is that there are many different forms of depression due to the fact that there are a variety of potential triggers for the condition. Burnout, on the other hand, is an umbrella term for a specific type of exhaustion. 

How to Recovery From Burnout

There are many ways in which you can begin to eliminate burnout from your life. To begin with, you may want to speak to your superior at work about your symptoms so that they can put provisions in place to support you. For example, they could reduce your workload slightly or encourage you to delegate tasks to others. 

Working to build a better work-life balance (and taking necessary time off) can also come in handy here, as it encourages you to put your own well-being before your workload.

How to Recovery From Depression

Recovery from conditions such as depression is never linear – as it affects every person in a slightly different way. However, there are many different treatment options that you may want to consider as you move forward in your wellness journey. 

For example, medication can help to ease some of the symptoms of depression by helping with emotional regulation. Your health practitioner will be able to give you some insight on which kind of medication they think is right for you based on your lifestyle, health, and current symptoms. You must also ensure consistency when taking your prescription, so you do not fall behind on your dosage. 

Active treatment, such as therapy and behavioral stabilization, can also help those with depression. During this time, you may work with a therapist or counselor to get to the root of your struggles or to better understand why you feel low or sad. Many people find these treatment methods to be the most effective due to the level of insight they provide. 

Get Help From Peaks Recovery Today

At Peaks Recovery, we have years of experience supporting clients with a range of wellness-related problems. So, if you’ve noticed that you’re dealing with the symptoms of depression or burnout and would like some guidance, please do not hesitate to get in touch today. 

Medical Disclaimer: Peaks Recovery Centers uses fact-based content about recovery treatment, addiction medicine, and behavioral health conditions to improve the quality of life for those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction or mental health disorders. This information is not intended to replace professional medical guidance, diagnosis, care, or treatment. This information should not be used as a substitute for advice from a qualified healthcare provider and/or your physician.