Hyperstress, the last warning before burnout

It would affect one in four employees. Hyperstress is an emotional state marking the last step before sinking into burnout.

Dr. Patrick Légeron, psychiatrist in the university department of Sainte-Anne Hospital in Paris and founder of the Stimulus* practice, sheds light on the signs to watch for and gives some advice for taking care of yourself.

To explain hyperstress, Dr. Légeron makes the analogy with hypertension. “When our blood pressure is normal, everything is fine. But too much elevation can lead to serious complications. Well hyperstress is a bit the same thing. In traffic jams, after a computer bug, we “Let’s all stress. Mild stress can have certain virtues. But when it becomes too intense and chronic, that’s when it becomes harmful”.

Between stress and burnout

For the psychiatrist, hyperstress is the missing link “between stress and burnout”. And if the figures are still lacking for the general population, the specialist estimates that 22 to 25% of employees in France (most often women) suffer from this hyperstress. It is therefore essential to spot it before you fall victim to burnout. Four areas can, if combined, reveal a state of hyperstress:

  • Physical (marked by palpitations, digestive disorders, sexual breakdowns, etc.);
  • Psychological and emotional (irritability, anger…);
  • Cognitive (forgetting, trouble concentrating, etc.);
  • behavioral (consumption of alcohol, tobacco, eating disorders, etc.).

“Take care of yourself… and of others”

“When something is wrong, you go to the doctor. For hyperstress, it’s the same, you should not take its manifestations lightly”, warns Patrick Légeron. So how to react? “Don’t be in denial. Pay attention to the slightest sign so as not to let stress set in in the long term,” he continues.

“Take care of yourself. Think about the sources of stress. Is it possible to remove them? Simple methods of meditation or breathing can help you. Don’t neglect the value of digital disconnection either. Take care of your body. Physical activity has been proven time and time again to help reduce stress. Like the quality of sleep. And don’t forget, maintain good social relationships. Finally, pay attention to others as well. prevention is also collective. If you feel a change in behavior in a loved one or a colleague, do not hesitate to talk to them about it.”

And, of course, discuss the subject with your doctor, the occupational physician or seek help from a specialist such as a psychologist.

* Consulting firm on well-being and psychological health at work

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