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Work burnout

Listen to the guests on this radio chat show speaking about the difference between work-related stress and burnout.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.

Transcripts

Henry: I'd like to thank you both for coming along today. Pam, this is your new book: Taking the blues out of work: How to deal with work-related health problems.

Pam: Yes.

Henry: And Steve, you've just recovered from work burnout, one of the most serious – and common – work-related problems, yes?

Steve: Yes, that's right. I'm in the book! Pam used me as a case study.

Pam: Yes. Steve came along to my clinic for help. He had a serious case of burnout. He followed a course of therapy and …

Steve: … and she helped me to get my health back again.

Henry: Well, that's great. It's good to hear there's a happy ending. Pam, could you tell us what work burnout actually is? Aren't we just talking about stress here? Is there a difference?

Pam: Yes, there is a difference! A very big difference. But that's a good question because most people make the mistake of thinking that burnout is just another word for stress – so I'll start with that. Everyone understands stress. We live in a world where stress is part of our everyday lives. Burnout can be the result of too much stress, but it isn't the same thing. I once heard somebody say that if stress is like drowning in an overload of work, burnout is more like being all dried up. With stress we lose our energy, with burnout we lose much more – our motivation, our hope. And one very important difference between stress and burnout is that we know when we are stressed, but we don't usually realise we are suffering from burnout …

Henry: … until it's too late.

Pam: Exactly.

Henry: Steve, how did you know that your problem was more serious than just being stressed?

Steve: Well, I didn't realise myself. Other people realised first. I changed my behaviour and started feeling really negative and cynical about everything. That wasn't me at all. I've always been a happy-go-lucky sort of bloke. It got to the point where I felt so hopeless and depressed that I couldn't even face getting up in the morning. My wife made me an appointment with the doctor. He was helpful and referred me to Pam.

Pam: Steve was lucky to have the support of his family and friends. It's difficult to get better on your own. It's important to do normal things – exercise, socialise, go for a walk, meet a friend for a coffee …

Henry: And did Steve need medication?

Steve: No.

Pam: We decided to try with everything else first. Medication can be effective – anti-depressants aren't the same these days as they used to be – but Steve got better without any. In fact, it was something he felt quite strongly about.

Steve: I don't even like taking an aspirin unless I really have to, so I think I made a real effort to listen to Pam and do the things she suggested. I even started meditating!

Henry: Meditating?

Pam: Yes, it can really help. It calms the mind and helps to shut out the world's distractions.

Henry: And how are you now, Steve?

Steve: I feel great. Better than I have for years. 

Henry: Well, I'm glad to hear it. Now let's talk a bit about … (fade out)

Discussion

Language level

Upper intermediate: B2

Comments

Q.2 of Task 1, is the correct answer FALSE because Steve HAS RECOVERED from work burnout?

Hello M19,

Yes, that is correct. He did suffer from burnout, but he no longer suffers from it now.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks for the confirmation, Kirk.

Interesting topic. Youre not only learning english but also learning the difference between stress and burnout. This happened to me 4 months ago when I've been feeling burnout at work till I realized I was depressed so I took a break and meditate myself.

I've already suffered from a burnout in my life. I felt really depressed and hopeless and my behaviour changed deeply. It was too difficult to me

So, I started to socialize and work out to reduce the effects of the burnout I suffered

Yes. I knew.

I think everyone, everywhere have different type of stress /stress at home, stress at work, stress of money, now with COVID-19 that`s restriction and alerts and other/ each that when is combination is evident in our job, in our family live... Yes, maybe really people when people doesn`t feel good, a blues... They should go to therapy, they should speak with someone, even they can cook, learn something, painting... I think when someone is stressed he should to speak about that.

Sank you four this radio chat, it was vairy interesant, The girl who speak has a beautiful voice, I think im in love.
I have a bautiful voice too, if you search a personn to make the next radio chat, you can tell me on my msn account.
Je vous prie d'agréer l'expression de mes respectueuses salutations,
Thank you,
the next employeeso of LarnEnglish

it is very useful.

yes it is true