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Mountain Goat
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16 May 2020, 8:46 pm

What's the difference between a burnout and a breakdown?


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Jakki
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16 May 2020, 9:09 pm

not to sure am going to do this one justice .Think both could have similiar structures in their causes..
Perhaps a burn out is over a period of time a person slowly becomes less and less able to confront things ,, (anythings). Needs more and more time to recover from stress . Until their functional limits.
Are exhausted .
a Break down seems to be similiar but all at once the sufferer , might all at once become totally unable to function , to such a degree that reality is not papable to to them, perhaps so disabled as to barely attend to their own basic needs .
This is just my simplified interpetation of the 2 of these ,, by no means is this suppose to represent anything professionally .


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16 May 2020, 9:18 pm

I'm pretty sure I experienced an autistic burnout in the late 1990s. I quit my job with £50,000 in savings to survive on, and here I am today, still intact (just about). It may well have had elements of a breakdown or a midlife crisis as well, but I've no doubt that the autistic element was the central factor. A professional psychiatrist might be able to provide some sort of confirmation in such a situation, but in my case all I've got is a gut feeling twenty years on, which is probably at least as valid as any official (and potentially very costly) diagnosis, believe me.


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harry12345
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17 May 2020, 2:07 am

My two penn'orth; I would say that:

A burnout probably has a lot of small contributing factors accumulating over a period of time leading to utter exhaustion whereas a breakdown perhaps has fewer bigger things piling in over a shorter period of time. I would associate the word burn out mostly with physical exhaustion and breakdown mostly with a difficulty to cope mentally. They are probably interchangeable though.

Perhaps a car anaolgy. You can burnout your car by running into the ground so much that one morning it just won't start because there are too many things that have gone wrong, or you can have your car breakdown seemingly at random with no obvious cause, but investigation reveals that the alternator has packed in.



Mountain Goat
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17 May 2020, 6:53 am

The reason why I asked is that what someone on youtube said his experience of what a burnout was seemed relitively mild compared to the few events I had experienced. Can a burnout end up in a breakdown? For the last decade or so I had only been able to take part time work and even then, each time I hit this burnout I would quit my job and just about last until the end of my notice The last three jobs were temporary jobs so by the time I reached this stage, I only had a few days or a week or two to work through, but the last few weeks/days I had to work was sheer torture in a mental and physical way, and I ended up in a mess.
The last time I hit this I was barely able to walk properly or drive. as my co-ordination was all over the place.
I also noticed that each "Burnout" had hit me more then the time before and I really eeded a coupke of years to recover fully, andit was probably why I found each burnout hit me greater then the one before, as I had not had fully recovered from the last one.
My Mum (Who does not really believe that autism is a "Thing" exceptin the more extreme cases (Though she is a good Mum and fully supports me in all ways, and I have said that if I am on the spectrum, sheis too!), and that I had been through some mild form of breakdown. She maybe right. I don't exactly know.
But as a guess, I would say that I ave experienced burnouts which turn into breakdowns? Not quite total mental breakdowns where ones memory has gone, but I was actually preparing and expecting this to take place when I had the last one, as I was half way towards that stage. I don't know.

But my Dad was said to have a mental breakdown and it was a while before he was in work again, but he did fully recover to work full time. Whatever I have experienced has been a downward spiral. He was a couple of months off work? I need a few years and I was doing low hours part time work.


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17 May 2020, 10:50 am

As a kid growing up I always though that what would in the 1980's be called a "nervous breakdown" was caused by either

a) "burning the candle at both ends" - i.e. working too hard and partying too hard, both for too long. Yuppies and office types would get them - think Reginald Perrin from the telly.
b) trauma - job loss, bereavement or relationship issues. Probably someone in their 50's - possibly classed as depression.

To repeat - this is what I thought as a kid - 30 years ago.

When I burnt out it was because of shift work - and trying to do too much in my own time - "burning candles" AND trauma - two bereavements in quick succession.

I had two bad episodes 6 months apart, and then possibly a minor one 2 years later. I was probably heading for a 4th when I quit my job.

FWIW I think [nervous] breakdown and burnout are interchangeable and really mean variations of the same thing.



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17 May 2020, 11:17 am

Quote:
Like many aspects of autism, burnout varies greatly from person to person. Some autistic people experience it as an overwhelming sense of physical exhaustion. They may have more difficulty managing their emotions than usual and be prone to outbursts of sadness or anger. Burnout may manifest as intense anxiety or contribute to depression or suicidal behavior. It may involve an increase in autism traits such as repetitive behaviors, increased sensitivity to sensory input or difficulty with change.

Burnout can sometimes result in a loss of skills: An autistic woman who usually has strong verbal abilities may, for example, suddenly find herself unable to talk.


https://www.spectrumnews.org/news/autis ... explained/

For me it's like having most of the physical symptoms of major depressive episode, but without the sadness & depression


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17 May 2020, 1:22 pm

My nervous nervous breakdown put me in hospital with a depleted Adrenal gland which couldn't produce any more stress hormones, and hypotension leading to heart arrhythmias. It could have killed me. It was a medical emergency more so than my burnouts, but maybe that's just me.

My current burnout has been six years and it likely won't resolve.



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18 May 2020, 4:19 am

They seem very similar to me.
I've been having issues with what I assume to be autistic burn-out, which seems to be manifesting as a series of mini-breakdowns... I think?
Certainly my nervous system seems to be up the spout (and they do call it a "nervous breakdown"), though I haven't been ill to the degree that Isabella was, and so far I've been able to come back from each episode after a few days of rest.



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18 May 2020, 11:06 pm

Mountain Goat wrote:
The reason why I asked is that what someone on youtube said his experience of what a burnout was seemed relitively mild compared to the few events I had experienced. Can a burnout end up in a breakdown? For the last decade or so I had only been able to take part time work and even then, each time I hit this burnout I would quit my job and just about last until the end of my notice The last three jobs were temporary jobs so by the time I reached this stage, I only had a few days or a week or two to work through, but the last few weeks/days I had to work was sheer torture in a mental and physical way, and I ended up in a mess.
The last time I hit this I was barely able to walk properly or drive. as my co-ordination was all over the place.
I also noticed that each "Burnout" had hit me more then the time before and I really eeded a coupke of years to recover fully, andit was probably why I found each burnout hit me greater then the one before, as I had not had fully recovered from the last one.
My Mum (Who does not really believe that autism is a "Thing" exceptin the more extreme cases (Though she is a good Mum and fully supports me in all ways, and I have said that if I am on the spectrum, sheis too!), and that I had been through some mild form of breakdown. She maybe right. I don't exactly know.
But as a guess, I would say that I ave experienced burnouts which turn into breakdowns? Not quite total mental breakdowns where ones memory has gone, but I was actually preparing and expecting this to take place when I had the last one, as I was half way towards that stage. I don't know.

But my Dad was said to have a mental breakdown and it was a while before he was in work again, but he did fully recover to work full time. Whatever I have experienced has been a downward spiral. He was a couple of months off work? I need a few years and I was doing low hours part time work.


I'm not a psych professional, but it sounds like your burnout is ongoing. The reason you can no longer work the way you used to is because the burnout hasn't been addressed. As I said, just my two cents.