Burnout is a state of mental or physical exhaustion due to continued exposure to stress. People who experience burnout often feel like they are “running on empty,” meaning they have nothing left to give to the situation that is causing them so much stress.

While burnout is often caused by career-related stress, it is also common among parents, caregivers, and students.

When someone experiences burnout, it is unlikely that the condition will go away on its own. Prolonged burnout can lead to more serious issues such as clinical depression.

This quiz is designed for anyone who wonders what burnout is and if they are experiencing it.

The statements in this quiz are designed to help you answer questions such as:

This quiz is designed to help you identify the common signs of burnout so you can know if you are experiencing it. This quiz is not meant to definitively advise you on how to deal with burnout in your own life. It is advisable to seek help from a mental health professional if you are experiencing burnout.

What are the key signs that identify burnout?

Burnout can result in both physical and emotional symptoms. Physical signs include fatigue, headaches, and digestion issues. Emotional signs include feelings of despair, dread, anxiety, cynicism, emotional exhaustion, mental exhaustion, and depression. Every individual is unique, so symptoms may vary.

What are the 12 stages of burnout?

According to a 2011 review, psychologist Herbert Freudenberger identified 12 chronological phases of burnout:

  1. A compulsion to prove yourself, or being overly ambitious.
  2. Working harder than usual.
  3. Neglecting your own needs.
  4. Displacing conflict and needs.
  5. Finding you don’t have time for needs not related to work.
  6. Increasingly denying the problem.
  7. Withdrawing, lacking direction, and feeling cynical.
  8. Changes to your behaviors and mental reactions.
  9. Depersonalization: loss of contact with self and own needs, known as depersonalization.
  10. Feeling empty, experiencing anxiety, or addictive behavior.
  11. Loss of interest, increasingly feeling that things are meaningless.
  12. Physical exhaustion that can be life threatening.

How do I know if I am burned out?

Taking assessments such as this burnout symptoms quiz can help you determine whether or not you are displaying the common signs of burnout. If your quiz results show a high likelihood of burnout, you may consider speaking with a mental health professional to help you identify changes you can make to your work schedule or lifestyle to offer relief.

Want to learn more about starting therapy? Psych Central’s How to Find Mental Health Support resource can help.

What can trigger burnout?

The most well-known cause of burnout is overwork. The careers most associated with burnout are:

  • nurses
  • teachers
  • police officers
  • lawyers
  • doctors
  • counselors and therapists
  • social workers

That said, any job can lead to burnout.

People can also experience burnout from life demands unrelated to their careers, such as parenting or caring for another adult leading to caregiver stress. If a romantic relationship becomes all-consuming, that can trigger relationship burnout.