Executive burnout or job fatigue – described as persistent fatigue, detachment, or resentment triggered by work and stress – is a growing concern among high-powered professionals. In fact, 96 percent of senior leaders reported feeling burned out to some degree, with one-third describing their burnout as extreme, according to a study by Harvard Medical School.
If ignored, executive burnout can have serious consequences beyond job performance, including substance use disorder. Unfortunately, many professionals turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the feelings of strain and exhaustion caused by job fatigue.
Symptoms of Executive Burnout
Burnout isn’t always easy to spot in others – and recognizing (and admitting to having) these signs in you is perhaps even more challenging. That’s partly because many people with executive burnout also have character traits like stamina and resilience, which make it easy to mask the problem. Here are some red flags that indicate it’s time to seek help from a health professional:
- Fuzzy thinking or an inability to concentrate
- Lack of patience, both at the workplace and at home
- Unexplained irritability
- Lack of energy or physical fatigue
- Skipping workouts
- Shying away from social obligations
- Guilt caused by not completing your work
- Feeling of emotional exhaustion
- Low self-esteem and plummeting confidence
- Loss of interest in once enjoyed activities
- Anxiety and depression
- Insomnia caused by racing thoughts before bedtime
- Growing thoughts of cynicism
- Irregular eating – consuming too little or too much
- Headaches, stomach problems, poor immunity or always getting sick
- Self-medicating or using drugs or alcohol to cope with stress
Executives Who Self-Medicate
Using alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism for executive burnout is a dangerous path – and one that can quickly lead to dependence. Providence Treatment prides itself on being a supportive and effective alcohol and drug rehab for professionals. To learn more, call (866) 247-3307.