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Warning Signs

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Are you suffering from burnout? The following signs and symptoms could be cause for concern.

Short fuse. Once an island of calm, you now find yourself snapping at people--both at work and at home. With little provocation, you become irritable and hostile and wish other people would just go away.

No drive. You used to agonize over student homework, but now you zip through papers, barely reading the answers, making a check mark here or there, offering no personal comments or insights. You are not as involved in professional activities as you used to be. You find yourself going through the motions, doing as little as you have to do to get through the day. You feel cynical and detached.

Physical failings. Once you slept the sleep of the dead, but now you just wake up feeling like a corpse. You sleep poorly. You have frequent headaches, stomach irritation. Maybe you're medicating yourself with over-the-counter pain and sleeping remedies--or alcohol. You have no energy. You're taking more sick days.

If any of these symptoms appear and persist, see your doctor. He or she may be able to recommend some therapy to help you deal with the problem.

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