Do I Have Burnout?

Several Areas To Consider


Maybe you’re stressed, exhausted, and overwhelmed. A friend suggests you have burnout, but how can you tell if you have burnout or if you’re just tired? In this post, produced in cooperation with the Association of Biblical Counselors, professor, pastor, and author Dr. David Murray walks through the the symptoms of burnout.


David is professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary and pastor of the Free Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan and the author of several books including Christians Get Depressed Too



David said he looks at several areas to identify the symptoms of burnout in a person. He examines physical, emotional, mental, relational, and spiritual indicators in a person’s life to see if they truly are burned out.  

What symptoms of burnout stood out to you? Why?
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Have you experienced any of the symptoms David described? If so, how did they make you feel? Were they indicators of burnout or depression, and if so, how so? If not, how might having these symptoms affect you in the future?
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David said burnout is on a continuum—it can lead to depression. In your experience, would you say you’ve seen burnout as independent from depression, or would you say they go hand in hand? Why?
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Which category or categories (physical, emotional, mental, relational, spiritual) would you say need the most work in your life and why?
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How could you begin to combat the symptoms of burnout in your life this week?
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Burnout can take various forms—there’s no one symptom that proves you have burnout. Listen to David unpack how he looks at various symptoms to diagnose someone with burnout. 



It’s common to feel overwhelmed at times. Everyone walks through stresses at some point in life. David said he looks at three dimensions to identify if someone is walking through burnout or if they are simply stressed. These dimensions include the width, length, and depth of a person’s depressive state.  

What key differences between stress and burnout did you notice through David’s discussion?
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After listening to David’s talks, would you say you’ve experienced or are currently experiencing burnout? Why or why not?
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If you think you have burnout, what practical steps could you take this week to find help and move toward recovery? If you’re not burned out, how could you help a friend our family member with their burnout now or in the future?
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Stress and burnout differ—one only lasts a few days, while the other lingers for months, even years. If you suffer from burnout, now is the time to find help. Seek the support of a trusted friend, leader, or counselor this week. Take the first steps on the path toward healing from burnout so you thrive and find joy again. Even if you don’t have burnout, come alongside friends and family members who do. 


You can find more on burnout from David in the course Avoid the Flames.


To learn more about The Association of Biblical Counselors, click here.