In our society, we will offer our well wishes to someone who sustains a bodily injury, such as a broken leg. However, when it comes to mental health matters, there’s radio silence. We are uniquely uncomfortable dealing with mental health issues, like stress, anxiety or burnout.
Studies show that the major source of stress is related to a person’s job. Think of your own situation at work. How many of us need herculean strength to get out of bed in the morning and go into the office? Once at work, do you immediately start feeling uncomfortable or nervous? Are you finding yourself becoming easily irritated or impatient with your boss, clients and co-workers? By the afternoon, is all of your energy depleted and you legitimately dread trying to make it through the rest of the day? Is there a lack of job satisfaction and fulfillment? Are you at a loss for what to do next?
In addition to pressures at work, we are bombarded with constant bad news. It’s impossible to escape horrific events, such as the Notre Dame Cathedral fire, terrorist attacks, school shootings, wars, random violence and political outrage. We also have to worry about the security of our jobs, how to save enough to actually retire one day, set aside funds for our children’s escalating college tuition and staying ahead of one medical misfortune that could bankrupt you. It’s almost impossible not be stressed and anxious.
It’s rare to have an open conversation about mental health. We’ll talk endlessly about the school shooter and guns, but never raise the issue of the mental health of the perpetrator and what can be done about it to prevent future occurrences. There is a negative stigma attached to mental health issues, so we tend to keep these thoughts and feelings to ourselves.
I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on stress, mental fatigue, anxiety and burnout. However, I deal with people manifesting these traits on a daily basis. Oftentimes, when people approach me about finding a new job, it seems clear that they are suffering from symptoms of stress, mental fatigue, anxiety or burnout.