What is hyperstress, the last stage before burnout?

Every fourth employee would be affected. Hyperstress is an emotional state that marks the last step before sinking into burnout.

dr Patrick Légeron, psychiatrist at the University Department of Sainte-Anne Hospital in Paris and founder of the Stimulus* practice, sheds light on the signs to look out for and some advice on how to take care of yourself.

To explain hyperstress, Dr. Légeron made the analogy with high blood pressure. “If our blood pressure is normal, everything is fine. But too much height can lead to serious complications.

Well, hyperstress is a bit the same thing. In traffic jams, after a computer error, we are all stressed. Mild stress can have certain benefits. But when it becomes too intense and chronic, then it becomes harmful.“.

Between stress and burnout

For the psychiatrist, hyperstress is the missing link “between stress and burnout”. And if the figures for the general population are missing, the specialist estimates that 22 to 25% of workers in France (mostly women) suffer from this hyperstress. It is therefore important to recognize it before you become a victim of burnout. Four areas, when combined, can indicate a state of hyperstress:

  • Physically (characterized by palpitations, indigestion, sexual breakdowns, etc.);
  • Mentally and emotionally (irritability, anger…);
  • Cognitive (forgetting, difficulty concentrating, etc.);
  • behave (alcohol, tobacco consumption, eating disorders etc.).

“Take care of yourself… and of others”

“If something is wrong, you go to the doctor. It’s the same with hyperstress, you shouldn’t take its manifestations lightly,” warns Patrick Légeron.

So how to react? “Don’t deny it. Pay attention to the slightest sign to avoid long-term stress”he continues.

“Take care of yourself. Think about the sources of stress. Is it possible to eliminate them? Simple methods of meditation or breathing can help. Don’t neglect the value of digital separation either. Take care of your body has been repeatedly proven that physical activity helps reduce stress. Like the quality of sleep. And let’s not forget, maintain good social relationships. Finally, pay attention to others too. Prevention is also collective. If you sense a change in behavior in a loved one or colleague, don’t hesitate to talk to them about it.”

And, of course, discuss the issue with your doctor, occupational health practitioner, or seek help from a specialist such as a psychologist.

* Workplace Wellbeing and Mental Health Consultancy

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