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Burnout Affects More Young People Than Ever. Here’s What You Should Know.

March 1, 2024

teen burnout

In a previous blog article, I explained how fatigue is a frequently used but misunderstood term. Although fatigue is a highly complex condition, everyone you encounter over the course of a day seems to have a simple solution. Based on clinical experience treating people with fatigue, I can tell you with certainty that addressing fatigue is anything but simple.

Burnout is another frequently used term that’s applied to many different aspects of health and life. 

You could experience burnout from raising children and hustling them to different activities. You could experience burnout from caring for or even losing elderly parents. You could experience burnout from a stressful career and work schedule. 

Historically, burnout has been felt by people between the ages of about 30 to 60. This segment of the population is raising children during their prime working years. 

However, we’re seeing a level of burnout in clinical practice among individuals under the age of 30 that we’ve never seen previously. Burnout was not commonplace for this age group 20 years ago. Today, it’s affecting people ranging from adults in their 20s to teenagers and adolescents.

What Is Burnout from a Clinical Perspective?

Burnout is a reaction to chronic stress that involves feelings of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion. Some people suffering from burnout feel a sense of extreme frustration or even failure. Stress can feel so overwhelming and unmanageable that it completely drains your energy, making it difficult to function on a daily basis. 

This can affect performance at school and work. You find it difficult to focus, remember, and complete tasks. You struggle to communicate. You constantly fall behind. You may become depressed and isolated. This only leads to higher stress levels.

Burnout causes biochemical imbalances that affect physical health. The fatigue you experience may cause you to turn to stimulants like coffee, sugar, or even drugs to get through the day. Burnout also affects the gastrointestinal system, which can lead to constipation, diarrhea, bloating, indigestion, and food sensitivity. Skin irritation, rashes, and poor sleep are common symptoms of burnout.

How to Approach a Young Person Who Shows Signs of Burnout

Unfortunately, older generations tend to dismiss burnout as young people being lazy. They can’t handle hard work. They’re coddled and entitled. As with many health conditions, criticizing and passing judgment on someone who is struggling with burnout only makes the problem worse.

Timing is very important. Try to speak with someone when they’re in a comfortable environment. Ask about their life. Naturally, people would much rather answer questions than hear something that might be perceived as judgment or jumping to a conclusion. 

This is why mental health counselors ask questions. Instead of telling them what you see, ask questions that lead them to discuss what you’ve been observing. And before you have that conversation, be prepared with a tangible action step, whether that involves providing them with helpful resources or suggesting they see a specific doctor.

Next Steps for Young People Struggling with Burnout

Addressing the biochemical imbalances that are affecting your quality of life is a critical step. These imbalances are crystal clear in blood tests. Let’s take care of the physical pain and discomfort with an integrative approach to care that accounts for your physical, nutritional, and psychological health.

We’ll look for objective improvements and measure your progress through blood testing, urinalysis, and neurotransmitter testing, which will show the precise level of imbalance and dysfunction caused by burnout.

Burnout can have serious long-term implications for young people, especially those whose body and brain are still developing and growing. Schools should be prepared to refer patients for burnout diagnosis and treatment. Every employer in American should encourage testing for burnout, not only for the well-being of their employees, but to improve their job performance.

If you or someone you know is showing signs of burnout, request a complimentary consultation at Natural Healthcare Center. We’ll review your health history and recommend the appropriate testing to identify imbalances that are affecting your well-being. Then we’ll develop a personalized treatment plan to help you feel like yourself again.

Dr. Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.