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Do you feel drained, run down and generally uninterested in life? You could be burning out. Burnout happens when you’re mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted - work, study, hobbies or relationships that you used to love don’t interest you anymore. You might lose motivation and feel helpless, drained and cynical. You could be struggling to meet the demands of work and study.

The negative effects of burning out can spill into all areas of your life. For example, burning out at work can affect your relationships and hobbies. It can also affect your health, for example, you might get sick more often or have changed eating and sleeping patterns.

Take this quiz to reflect on how you’re going and identify whether you could be burning out.

What is the difference between burnout and depression?

Burnout and depression have some similar symptoms, so it can be tricky knowing how to tell the two apart. For example, both involve having less energy and motivation, and feeling more negative. Here are some tips to help tell the difference between burnout and depression:

  • Being burnt out is generally associated with being too busy and overworked.
  • If you feel negative about work or study, but positive about other areas of your life, this is probably burnout, not depression.
  • Depression can happen at any time, and there isn’t always a clear reason why.
  • Someone who is depressed feels low on more days than not for at least a couple of weeks.
  • Symptoms like thoughts of suicide are more likely to be a sign of depression.

Keep in mind that these resources can’t give you a diagnosis. If you’re still unsure or you think you may have depression, you can get more information and advice from a medical professional, like a GP.

What can I do now?