“It is always darkest before the dawn.” ~Thomas Fuller
The word burnout seems to be getting used a lot these days in the media and in general. I hear it when talking to a lot of business owners and top salespeople. When I hear about burnout from the non-neurodiverse the symptoms suck, and I know that if they go untreated or unaddressed that they will roll into bigger problems.
Here are a Few Typical Burnout Symptoms
- Reduced productivity
- Low mood
- Difficulty concentrating
What I have been noticing is that the signs and symptoms in my neurodiverse clients, clients with ADHD/ADD and/or dyslexia, are greater in magnitude and have huge ramifications in their lives quickly.
- Little or no performance and productivity
- Sense of failure and self-doubt – almost constant inner chatter of worthlessness
- Feeling helpless, trapped, and defeated
- Difficulty concentrating on anything – short term memory is way off
- Detachment, feeling alone in the world
- Loss of motivation
- Increase in anxiety – worried about everything, might be having panic attacks
- Detached from family, friends, work and life in general
- Low mood – Increasingly cynical and negative outlook
- Decreased satisfaction and sense of accomplishment
- Change in sleep patterns – sleep cycles get totally off
- Absence of creativity – in work, life, problem solving and more
- Fatigue – more than a lack of sleep, an inability to start things and a need to constantly rest
Often for the person with a neurodiversity they don’t realize all of the ways that they are adjusting to circumstances all day in their daily life. What scientists have found is that constant navigating is very taxing on the brain and body’s energy, thereby leaving people vulnerable to burnout and fatigue sooner than other people. You just need to know this. Now you can watch for the signs and symptoms.
What I want to remind people of is the fact that you are not alone. If you are fighting with some or all of these feelings. You are not alone. I really am hearing from more and more people and clients about the increase of these symptoms in their lives. The constant juggling and managing have just become too much, and they are mentally slowly shutting down. That’s what happens with burnout. If it is not confronted, addressed and our lives rebooted, burnout can lead to depression, anxiety attacks and a full mental health breakdown.
If you are experiencing a handful or more of these symptoms, start telling the people closest to you, ask for help from a professional, start to put things in place to support your life in case you need to take a small reboot and most of all know that this can be improved. There should always be lots of HOPE in the fact that this is more than likely temporary.
If you are reading this and thinking, this really sounds like a friend of mine. Maybe it is time to share this and to talk with them about what you are seeing and asking how you can help. They might not love you at the time for saying anything, but most of the time, they will thank you months or years from now.
Being neuro different just means your brain works a little differently than the norm, so we can’t look to the average person to judge how we are doing. We need to look after each other to get a better sense of how things are going and if we are still on track to the happiest and healthiest life.
Lots of love and support,
Business Owner, International Neurodiversity Coach, and Speaker