Dr. med. Elisabeth Deubler-Schneider
A central cause that contributes to the development of burnout is stress, which can no longer be handled. There is an imbalance between your own requirements and the tasks to be carried out within a certain timeframe.
In the case of burnout, three key aspects can usually be observed:
«Anyone who learns to be careful with himself, his feelings and his needs during a burnout will find the balance between stress and non-stress, between strain and well-being.»
Dr. phil. Franco Arnold, Psychologist
The diagnosis is secured after an anamnesis consultation with a physician or psychologist and a number of psychological test examinations. In order to achieve the best therapy process, it is important that you first recognize and accept the need for treatment and reduce, or even eliminate, all stress factors.
The second step concerns relaxation and the recharge of your batteries with sport and exercise, enough sleep and a healthy diet. With the help of the various forms of therapy and treatment, you will learn to deal with your perfectionism and idealism in an acceptable manner; you will learn to say no, you will renew and maintain your social contacts, you will set realistic goals and recognize the importance of optimal time management.
Other important aspects, as well as learning relaxation techniques, are strengthening your own resources for your everyday life.
Your burnout treatment and therapy are based on the jointly developed treatment plan and include a selection from the following offers.
8Which healthy, joyful person imagines needing psychiatric treatment. As for many, G.A. never had any reason to deal with that – until he suffered a nervous breakdown due to great professional stress, leaving him in need of professional help. He got that at the private clinic MENTALVA in Cazis.
In our society, there is an increasing upfront professional demand. Many people can no longer withstand the pressure after a certain period of time. With G.A. (name known), a bank employee, responsible for all kinds of stock exchange transactions at the trading department for 20 years, the «safety valve» exploded one day like a steam cooker. He suffered a nervous breakdown. And then there was no stone left on top of the other.
The long, almost five-month journey of recovery and back into his own life was unbearable for G.A. at times. Along the way, he kept wondering if it really had to come to this. Today, he knows that he would have needed more support from his employer much earlier. He also knows that he should have had more courage to get help to find a new job. But the fear had him paralyzed.
His work was very stressful. He often realized that things were not going so well for him. But he always kept going, partly because the situation settled down every time. Then came the time when the barrel was about to overflow; when another bank was integrated into G.A.’s bank, the situation worsened for many employees, as duplication led to job cuts and internal job shifts. «It also hit me», says G.A.
«My job was gone, I was no longer needed. Although I had the choice to do something different within the bank, the offers did not match my expectations and my knowledge. For me, the situation was precarious. I came under a lot of pressure because I didn't want to end up with nothing.»
Finding a way forward
G.A. racked his brain and found no solution. He couldn't sleep for many weeks. Sleeping pills became his regular companions. He was no longer able to work under pressure. A nervous breakdown followed. After an emergency admission to the hospital, a psychiatrist spoke to him. He was diagnosed with burnout and prescribed treatment. «Since the private hospital MENTALVA had no space at that time, and I was in extremely bad shape, I was admitted to the closed ward of the Waldhaus clinic in Chur for a short time. I never imagined how one feels in such situations. I felt remote controlled, I was no longer myself, I had soliloquised, I was helpless and completely powerless».
Then, finally, the change to the private clinic MENTALVA. «Since I didn't tolerate the medication, I was unable to express myself properly, I couldn't say what I was feeling and thinking, and it neither possible to participate in the conversations of my fellow patients, nor to follow those. In the first few weeks, I wasn't able to go home either; I was not even able to buy a train ticket. A planned trip to Chur also had to be cancelled. I was sitting in the car as a passenger and suddenly had a serious attack. It was as if my heart was being squeezed.»
Over time and after a change of medication, things started to improve again. «I experienced the care as excellent, the therapies were sometimes unfamiliar, but really helpful». G.A., who plays French horn, particularly liked the music therapy. However, he also worked with soapstone, painted, meditated, did yoga, qi gong, gymnastics and physiotherapy, all accompanied by intensive conversational therapies. «Traditional Chinese medicine worked very quickly with my sleep problems. I also found “Sound of Soul” relaxing». This is a way to bring people back in resonance with themselves since the heart composes its own soul melody.
After ten long weeks of therapy and recovery at the MENTALVA clinic, G.A. felt fit again to the point where he was able to master his everyday life – still with medication – to some extent himself. This was followed by discussions with his former boss and the responsible personnel manager – together with his treating psychiatrist at the clinic MENTALVA. There was discussion about how G.A. could reintegrate at the bank.
With a solution, the stress disappears
«The internal job change became a topic again. When I saw that a solution was in sight, I suddenly manage to relax again. After almost five months of absence, I started with a 40 percent workload at the account opening department, and after a month, I was already working 80 percent again. I was very pleased with this solution. I kept that 80 percent of the workload. The pressure is gone, our team is good, I feel integrated and in good hands; my salary is lower but offers a better quality of life.»
G.A. no longer needs sleeping pills and hardly any medication. First, he travelled once a month to his outpatient treatments in Cazis and then continued, because of the proximity of his home, at the psychiatry centre Werdenberg-Sarganserland in Trübbach. «Today, I'm fine again», smiles G.A.
Visit to the chapel
He often thinks back to the early days of his illness: «When I was really bad at the beginning of my treatment in Cazis, I visited the chapel of La Nicca on the hospital grounds from time to time and prayed. There is a "wall of lament". Patients write their concerns on a piece of paper and pin them to the wall. This wall is full of requests from patients! I did this in the hope that a door would soon open for me in terms of a new job. And low and behold, after a few weeks, something did actually happen! You may believe it or not, but in my case, it has made a difference, and not for the first time...».
G.A. needed a lot of strength on his way. «But my illness opened my eyes in various ways. For me, it is now very clear that companies need to rethink, they can no longer put so much pressure on their employees. Otherwise, the number of mentally ill people will continue to rise, with the corresponding associated cost for the whole society.»