Original acrylic painting on linen canvas
Artwork size : 31.50 x 31.5″ / 80 x 80 cm
© Eric Bourdon, 2019
The Burnout, post-post-postmodern expressionist version
of the Scream by Edvard Munch, “father of expressionism”…
The professional exhaustion syndrome, or burnout, is a type of chronic work-related stress – a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity. It has become today a mass phenomenon, receiving constant media attention.
Burnout is characterized by various factors, including : lack of control over your work, unclear job expectations (what your boss expects from you, and the degree of your own authority), dysfunctional workplace (undermined by colleagues, too much supervision of your work, working with an office bully…), extremes of activity (if a job is monotonous or chaotic, you need constant energy to remain focused, which can lead to fatigue), lack of social support (when you feel isolated at work and in your personal life), work-life imbalance (if your work takes up so much of your time and effort that you don’t have the energy to spend time with your family and friends, you might burn out quickly).
The term burnout was coined in the 1970s by the American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger. He used it to describe the consequences of severe stress and high ideals in “helping” professions : doctors and nurses, who sacrifice themselves for others, would often end up being “burned out” – exhausted, listless, and unable to cope. Nowadays, it seems it can affect anyone, from stressed-out careerists and celebrities to overworked employees and homemakers.