The typical first response to feeling tired, sad, or sick is to ignore the symptoms hoping they will pass by themselves. But you shouldn’t delay visiting a doctor if you experience signs of burnout.

Many people dismiss it as a weakness or an imaginary problem that must be overcome alone, but it’s a huge mistake. Ignoring your troubles may be dangerous, even if you’re convinced they’re caused by burnout exclusively. Many clients I spoke to were surprised by their doctors’ findings, so it’s important to me personally to spread awareness about the problem.

Here’s why:

1. You may not be able to notice all relevant symptoms.

Even doctors refrain from self-diagnosis, realizing how unreliable it is. Depending on your state of mind or desired outcome, you may skip important clues because of the human tendency to downplay or overemphasize them.

So even if you check all the boxes in the burnout checklist, it doesn’t mean it’s burnout for sure, as questions used in the document may overlap with questionnaires related to other syndromes or illnesses.

Proper diagnosis requires experience, objectivity, and knowledge, and that’s why it’s necessary to leave it to a specialist.

2. It doesn’t have to be burnout only (or at all).

Burnout, as it progresses, may manifest itself in various emotional or physical states: feelings of being mentally drained, cynical, defeated, alone, exhausted, unable to focus, and many others.

But those symptoms may also indicate depression, anxiety, or other mental health-related conditions that need a different treatment than burnout.

It’s essential to know which one applies in your case to get proper help as soon as possible. I strongly encourage you to follow medical advice even if visiting a psychiatrist or a psychologist seems unpleasant. You may be surprised how helpful it can turn out to be.

3. Some illnesses with similar symptoms to burnout require immediate attention.

An underactive thyroid, diabetes, cancers, and heart problems are just a few conditions that may manifest as fatigue or difficulty concentrating. 

Remember that even if you’re going through a stressful time at work and burnout seems inevitable, your symptoms may be caused by an illness instead. It can be a coincidence, or the condition was indeed activated by stress.

4. It may be a side effect of your medication.

Some drugs can cause unpleasant side effects even used correctly, not to mention their undesirable interactions with particular foods, drinks, or stimulants. 

It’s helpful to make a list of food and drinks you consume to give complete information during the medical appointment. Thinking about it beforehand may save you lots of trouble.

5. Waiting only multiplies symptoms.

The fact that you’re exhausted by a grueling work schedule doesn’t mean that nothing else is going on. 

Burnout can cause depression and severe health problems, so the longer it’s left unattended, the higher the possibility of consequences. 

Delaying your appointment may result in having more than one condition to treat.

Proper diagnosis will allow an appropriate approach and can even save your life. 

Instead of wondering and suffering in silence, I suggest booking a check-up today. It will help you concentrate on actions that have the potential to result in lasting improvement. 

You’ll only know once you check. 

Refrain from guessing. Consult.

>>>>> If your loved one is struggling with mental health issues or experiences other difficulties, encourage them to visit a GP. They may feel ashamed or scared that something serious is happening, and it’s typical for people experiencing burnout to resist a medical visit. But don’t be discouraged. Trying to make them go is tempting, but shaming or tricking them into following your request won’t work.

Instead, explaining their importance to you as a person, a valued family member, or a spouse may bring much better results. Patience and respect are crucial.

NOTE: I’m not a doctor, and this article doesn’t constitute medical advice.