Depersonalization Burnout: How to Reconnect with Yourself

Depersonalization and burnout have a strong relationship. Those who struggle with burnout will struggle with emotional exhaustion, reduced accomplishments, and depersonalization.

As one of three key components of burnout, depersonalization needs to be addressed in order to help you improve your mental health and well-being. Without learning coping techniques and strategies to reconnect with yourself, burnout and depersonalization can have a lasting impact on your sense of connection, sense of self, and relationships.

Understanding Depersonalization Burnout

Burnout or burnout syndrome represents a combination of symptoms that are more likely to occur in people who have a history of mental health disorders but can affect anyone. Those who are struggling with burnout, usually in the workplace or with academic performance, will lose their ability to perform well, adapt, and start to harness a negative attitude toward those around them, including friends and family.

depersonalization burnout

Burnout and depersonalization can be particularly troublesome because depersonalization burn out is one of the three main symptoms that can affect people who are overwhelmed in work or personal performance.

Common symptoms and signs of depersonalization burnout

Depersonalization tends to manifest with negative behaviors and cynical attitudes. This type of indifference affects everyone with whom you have a relationship, especially those with whom you are closest or those with whom you interact regularly.

Depersonalization burnout can manifest in the form of unprofessional comments, placing blame on others for your issues, being unable to express yourself successfully, or misdirecting feelings of things like frustration, anxiety, or fear onto others.

The impact of depersonalization burnout on daily life and relationships

Depersonalization burnout can have a severe impact on your daily life as well as on your relationships.

For example:

Margaret is overwhelmed and experiencing burnout in her job as a counselor. It is causing her a great deal of anxiety and stress that she can’t seem to cope with. As a result, Margaret is adopting a negative attitude, snapping at coworkers and misdirecting things like anger and anxiety toward those she is supposed to help.

In her personal life Margaret is struggling with low self-esteem, feels as though she won’t be able to accomplish anything good, and is developing a general apathy toward other aspects of her life outside of the workplace. This is affecting her relationship with her spouse, inhibiting communication and leading to emotional outbursts.

Causes of Depersonalization Burnout

What are the causes of burnout depersonalization? There are several areas of life which can contribute to burnout including pressure in your personal or professional life as well as chronic stress, being overworked, or struggling with limited work-life balance.

Chronic stress and overwork

One of the biggest causes is chronic stress and being overworked. Chronic stress can come from several sources. If you are dealing with a volunteer position, a stressful job, or even personal stress, if there is no endpoint to it and you don’t have good coping mechanisms to manage your stress, this can present problems.

depersonalization burnout

In the workplace, this could take the form of:

  • A heavy workload
  • Limited resources
  • Poor workplace communication
  • A lack of control over workload or reduced input
  • Understaffing in the workplace
  • Problems with other coworkers

When people are overworked, they tend to work difficult hours, strenuous jobs within a given time frame, too much travel for business, or not enough communication, which creates unnecessary stress.

Lack of work-life balance

All of this can have an influence on your work-life balance. A lack of work-life balance in particular is one of the biggest causes of depersonalization burnout.

For example:

Jonathan has an incredibly stressful job. They don’t have enough people to do everything that they should, and each time he starts to make progress in handling the workload, his bosses add another project to his plate. He already doesn’t have time to do everything. He is constantly tasked with meetings and travel for work. His email at work is getting out of hand with thousands of unread emails.

When Jonathan comes home, he brings his work and work stress with him. He constantly checks his phone at home, he takes business calls long after dinner, and he doesn’t set time aside to decompress or to leave his work at the door when he comes home.

Personal and professional pressures

Personal and professional pressure can be a significant cause of burnout, and it doesn’t have to be limited to the workplace.

You might have a perfectly normal work schedule but be under significant stress to provide for others or have a good work-life balance, but then you may find yourself facing significant personal pressure for volunteer efforts in your community, religious activities, or the demands of family.

For example:

Linda takes care of her elderly mother. Linda is responsible for getting her mother to all of her mother’s doctor’s appointments which take place on a regular basis. Her mother currently lives with Linda and as such Linda has to tend to her meals, her hygiene, and her health.

This puts a lot of personal pressure on Linda to make sure that she is available for her mother and that she gives her mother everything that is needed to live a comfortable and fulfilling life. However, this takes away from Linda’s ability to care for herself and achieve a good work-life balance.

Recognizing Burnout and Depersonalization

Some of the most common characteristics of depersonalization and burnout include:

  • A feeling of numbness
  • Lack of motivation
  • Isolation
  • Lack of empathy
  • A distorted sense of self
  • Feeling disconnected from your world
  • Feeling as though you are moving through life without actually being a part of it
  • Feeling as though life isn’t real

If you are experiencing detachment or isolation, it might be a sign that you need to reconnect with yourself.

Strategies to Reconnect with Yourself

So, how do you reconnect with yourself when you are struggling with depersonalization?

Mindfulness and meditation practices

Mindfulness and meditation practices are essential to reconnecting with yourself. Many people fear being alone with their thoughts with mindfulness and meditation or have significant concerns that they won’t be able to pay attention and their minds will wander. But this is a common misconception.

In fact, your mind wandering and the act of recognizing that and bringing your focus back to the present is an essential part of the experience and that is where the true growth lies.

Developing a self-care routine

A self-care routine is essential to preventing or dealing with burnout. Self-care routines establish important boundaries, making specific limitations to the time you spend with others and setting aside time for journaling, reflection, meditation, exercise, and socialization.

Journaling and self-reflection exercises

Journaling and self-reflection exercises can help you pay attention to changes in mood, figure out how you are feeling at any given time, and identify why you might be feeling that way. It can also be a chance to note which coping strategies are most effective.

Reestablishing a connection with your body

You might need to reestablish a connection with your body. This type of physical reconnection can take the form of body scanning and relaxation exercises that connect you to your muscles.

For those who have struggled with their relationships as a result of depersonalization, co-regulating might help reestablish a bodily connection as well as offer meditation techniques. Sitting opposite your partner with foreheads together and hands on one another’s ribs provides a chance to practice a co-regulating meditation. For this to be effective, you have to follow the breathing of one another, and if it is a male and female couple, the male has to follow the breathing of the female because his lung capacity is greater.

After a few minutes, your breathing will sync, and another minute allows your heart rates to sync, and finally, the full 5 minutes allows your central nervous system to sync.

Seeking Professional Help

If you are struggling with depersonalization and burnout, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. Strategies to reconnect with yourself are a great place to start, but you might need more than just self-reflection and mindfulness practices to get back on track.

Working with a professional offers an opportunity to build resilience and prevent future burnout. These personalized coping mechanisms can go a long way toward empowering you to control your work-life balance and reduce the amount of personal or professional stress you endure.

Summing up

Overall, if you are experiencing feelings of detachment, disconnection, with related mood swings and irritability toward those around you, it might be a sign of depersonalization burnout. It’s important to address depersonalization and burnout to prevent it from getting worse and having a negative impact on your relationships and your daily life.

If you are struggling with any of these symptoms, try to apply these strategies to reconnect with yourself and after establishing your self-care routine and meditation practices, don’t be afraid to seek professional help if necessary.