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Epilepsy Blog Relay: Signs you may have burnout

From the beginning of my being on this planet, I was diagnosed with epilepsy, so you can only imagine the adventure of everyday medication schedules, doctors’ appointments, surgeries, and social differences. But when I was hit with burnout because of school, work and planning for the future, I didn’t even have a name for it.

The older I got, the more difficulties came my way. Starting at the age of twenty-one, I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression due to social and emotional problems. Well, entering adulthood was nothing I was exposed to or explained; I didn’t even get a manual.

I’m entering the junior year of being a university student at the University of Central. I’m close to the finish line, but many things are stressful on my end.  Knowing that I have only one parent who continuously is investing in my education, money is a lot, and as a starving student, it’s beyond stressful.

I’m getting older and my life hasn’t started. It’s becoming uncomfortable and yes, living with epilepsy and having flair ups due to lack of sleep, stress, new medication and simply, neglecting myself has affected me. And of course, me developing being burned out and didn’t even know there was a name I figured I was just exhausted well it’s more than that.

Burnout

How did I know I was burned out?

  • I became too exhausted to sleep. Sleep is important due to my epilepsy.
  • I became too tired to have full meals. I dangerously lost too much weight overall.

Just as a start.

Being a student abroad, missing my family and friends, and wondering if my pathway of success was meaningful and, well, did it make any sense. With a ton of anxiety, worry, emotional distress, and educational expectation, I felt stripped of myself and what I could do. Even with limitations and questioning my value, I’m losing my identity, and it has become too painful and exhausting.

With my dream and already having an established start as a writer, I wanted and drove for more. This ended up placing myself in a dangerous adventure and sacrificing my health, especially my education. As months went by and my unbalanced experience of being burned out continued. I was forced to stop writing together. I’ve never felt so lost and filled with pain, especially when passion filled with opportunity and happiness was about to be taken from me due to my health which doesn’t have a cure, and understanding that I might not wake up due to my sacrifice and stress level.

What is Burnout

Once I heard and skimmed through what “burnout” meant, I wanted to know more, so, of course, Google gave all the answers. According to an article by Evie Muir, who experienced burn out herself, “The experience of burnout can be ferociously acute depression, and those impacted float in a cloud of despair, exhausted and on autopilot.”

According to the World Health Organization,”Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:

  • feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
  • increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and
  • reduced professional efficacy.

Finding a Better Way

We understand that no part of any career should ever consume our everyday lives during this adventure. Burnout turns into flare-ups that affect both my very own mental experience and physical health. Especially someone like myself, who’s not just a woman, or even just a woman of color, but a woman of color with a neurological disorder.

As an individual with dreams and drive, I have no choice but must push myself ten times harder than everyone else, which can be extremely mentally and physically exhausting.

But I guess you can say that change is incremental, but sometimes it has a lot easier said than done. Especially when you’re trying to do four things:

First: Graduate
Second: be healthy both neurologically and mentally
Third: Be comfortable in the category of “adulthood.”
Fourth: Living out my dream of being a writer on a comfortable and healthier pathway

As I always say: everything is in moderation … right?

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