What’s the difference between depression and burnout?

anxiety burnout depression how to avoid burnout? what is burnout? Mar 07, 2022
What’s the difference between depression and burnout?

What’s the difference between depression and burnout?
The symptoms of burnout and depression can overlap. But there are key differences, including how long your symptoms last and how you might need to manage your symptoms.  

Burnout can cause overwhelming feelings of mental and physical exhaustion due to prolonged stress. It can make it difficult to go about your usual activities such as work, caregiving, or juggling multiple responsibilities. 

Although burnout can be emotionally taxing, symptoms are usually temporary and disappear when you take a longer break or focus more energy on activities you enjoy. 

Similar to burnout, symptoms of depression can get in the way of your daily life. Some of the symptoms — sleep issues, memory trouble, and fatigue — can be the same as burnout. But depression is a diagnosable mental health condition that causes other symptoms such as: 

  • Losing interest in your favorite activities
  • Feeling sad or empty most of the time
  • Feeling angry or irritable
  • Having low self-esteem
  • Pulling away from your loved ones
  • Noticing changes in appetite
  • Feeling hopeless or having thoughts of suicide

Unlike burnout, depression also doesn’t always have a cause. Sometimes a specific stress can trigger depression, but your depression may continue long after the stress is gone. If you think you may have depression, reach out to your healthcare provider. Depression typically requires professional treatment before you feel better.