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When there is a lack of energy. Fatigue in depression and occupational burnout

Joanna Pidanty - January 18, 2024 - 0 comments

Fatigue of varying severity is inherent in a life that requires physical and mental effort. It regulates human activity, encourages to limit one’s own actions, indicates the need for rest and regenerate. The demands of contemporary life call us to suppress this signal, which is important for maintaining health. Lack of rest results in a feeling of constant fatigue, less immunity and reduced ability to function. Increased fatigue can accompany disturbing psychophysical conditions such as depression or burnout.

Fatigue. Physiology or pathology?

Physiologically, fatigue is a reaction of our bodies to excessive effort. Fatigue naturally reduces the ability to continue the task and should encourage us to rest. Feeling tired is to protect the body from activity that can lead to dysfunction, devastation and even death. Transient fatigue, relieved by rest, is a normal mechanism for maintaining the body’s balance. In response to the demands of the modern world to act more and faster, people neglect to rest. In the absence of rest, stress and fatigue accumulate, causing health problems. Chronic fatigue, worsening or appearing with other symptoms should be alarming. Excessive fatigue on a physical and mental level can be both the cause, and a symptom of various diseases. It is worth looking at whether the decrease in energy is a consequence of anaemia, a result of vitamin D, B12, folic acid deficiencies, hormonal disorders or a consequence of insufficient amount and quality of sleep. We are talking about pathological, debilitating fatigue, if it persists and does not disappear in the processes of regeneration. Fatigue lasting for months, which is not the result of ongoing diseases, may be a manifestation of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). It is a disease with not yet fully understood etiology. Previous viral infections are frequently quoted as one of the causes of this syndrome. Persistent physical and cognitive fatigue has become an unpleasant experience for those, who managed to recover from COVID-19. Fatigue also accompanies patients, who had a stroke. These people have the so-called post-stroke fatigue syndrome, which may coexist with depression and limit the possibilities of rehabilitation.

Fatigue in depression

In addition to depressed mood, one of the symptoms of depression is a reduction of the psychomotor drive. It is experienced as slowness, weakness, drowsiness, lack of energy, psychophysical fatigue. Depressive sleep disorders, an exhausting sense of hopelessness and accompanying anxiety further aggravate the feeling of fatigue. The difficulty of overcoming fatigue in depression is exacerbated by apathy (emotional indifference) and anhedonia (loss of the ability to enjoy activities that previously gave joy). These symptoms mean that appealing to pleasure will not become a driving force. People with depression experience lack of motivation to take action. Depressive fatigue is further supported by inactivity, which is not the same as resting. The activity that may prove supportive for people with depression is relaxation with VR TierOne GO headset. The depressive sense of meaninglessness of taking up activity results from negatively coloured thoughts. That is why psychotherapy, which is helpful in changing harmful beliefs, is so important in depression. Psychotherapy reduces the recurrence of depression, helps to develop new patterns that lead to regaining balance. Fatigue is a common symptom in depression and, along with other symptoms, causes a significant reduction in activity. This is a dangerous situation that can translate into life and health difficulties.

Virtual relaxation can be helpful for people with reduced well-being suffering from fatigue.

Fatigue in occupational burnout

People are capable of hard work, but this requires striking a balance between effort and recovery time. Stress and intense commitment to work stretching beyond psychophysical capabilities can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion. Unreduced fatigue negatively affects the continuation of work and results in exhaustion of the ability to cope with tasks. Burnout is the result of excessive work-related stress that has not been managed effectively. Burnout syndrome can be the result of inadequate management of energy resources and the lack of effective remedial strategies for work-related stress. It is important to work with respect for your own health. Responding to your stress and fatigue, being kind to yourself, taking holidays and other support options is advisable if you are willing to work productively for a long time. Regular rest is an indispensable tool, that helps us to avoid excessive fatigue, and it can also prevent the development of burnout or depression. Postponing your rest indefinitely costs health. Therefore, it is worth taking breaks for regeneration and avoiding accumulating stress. Symptoms of burnout such as fatigue, decreased motivation, loss of enthusiasm for action may resemble the clinical image of depression. However, it should be emphasized that burnout is always related to work, and depression can be associated with any area of life. Burnout is a gradual process, if we observe increasing stress and fatigue, it is worth working more, but on the ability to rest effectively instead. Work is important for obvious reasons, but it should not dominate life in such a way as to lead to serious health issues such as depression, anxiety disorders and addictions.

Delaying the moment of rest results in accumulating fatigue, a decrease in creativity and productivity.

Rest for fatigue

Since fatigue has a significant impact on health and daily life, you should try to manage your own energy. It is important not to discharge your energy resources. There must be adequate rest, one that regenerates, between activities. How to rest to feel better and have more energy? A short meditation, observing nature, breathing exercises or longer relaxation sessions can offer a regenerative rest. All this is offered by VR TierOne GO relaxation headset, which is a great tool for rest. VR TierOne GO headset supports the rest of people, who are tired and stressed. It is recommended for people who have difficulties with entering the state of relaxation on their own. It is great as a tool enabling you to take care of the well-being of employees, students or patients complaining of fatigue. VR headset creates a space for rest thanks to picturesque scenery, music and a voice-over that conducts virtual relaxation. It is worth giving yourself time and permission to relax every day, and Virtual Reality can help you accomplish this regularly.

VR TierOne GO relaxation allows you to relax and reduce fatigue every day.

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