Mental weakness symptoms
Mental Exhaustion Symptoms, Causes, and Ways to Cope
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What is mental exhaustion?
What are the symptoms of mental exhaustion?
Side effects of being mentally exhausted
What are the causes of mental exhaustion?
How is mental exhaustion different from other conditions?
11 ways to overcome mental exhaustion
If getting out of bed after a good night’s sleep feels impossible sometimes, you might be suffering from mental exhaustion. Maybe your job has been extra demanding lately, you’ve been caring for a sick family member, or you just haven’t been prioritizing self-care.
Whatever the reason, this kind of prolonged stress can lead to symptoms of mental exhaustion like:
- Fatigue no matter how much sleep you get
- Lack of motivation, personally and professionally
- Persistent feelings of overwhelm, anxiety, or apathy
- Trouble completing tasks at work
If any of these sound familiar, you’re not alone — nearly 75% of workers have reported similar feelings since the coronavirus pandemic.
But here’s the good news: there are steps you can take to move past mental exhaustion and start thriving again. Here’s everything you need to know about the symptoms and causes of mental exhaustion, plus how to cope with and overcome it.
What is mental exhaustion?
Mental exhaustion is a feeling of extreme tiredness, characterized by other feelings including apathy, cynicism, and irritability. You may be mentally exhausted if you’ve recently undergone long-term stress, find it hard to focus on tasks, or lack interest in activities you usually enjoy.
Mental exhaustion often happens as a result of overuse, like physical overuse injuries. For example, think of repetitive stress injuries, like carpal tunnel or tennis elbow. Mental and emotional exhaustion just comes from overstressing your mind, rather than overstressing a muscle group.
How can you be exhausted mentally?
Mental exhaustion is completely possible and is probably more common than it should be. After a long period of stress or time of intense emotions, mental exhaustion is bound to happen.
Just like our bodies show symptoms after we push too hard, our minds are bound to display signs of mental exhaustion if we don’t take proper care.
What are the symptoms of mental exhaustion?
So how do you know if you are suffering from mental exhaustion? Mental exhaustion symptoms can range from tiredness when you wake up in the morning, to a deep sense of apathy about work, friendship, and life. It feels like cynicism, emptiness, an inability to focus, and even a sense of hopelessness.
This mental fatigue can also trigger your sympathetic nervous system, leading to feelings of panic, anxiety, and worry. These mental exhaustion symptoms can make daily life incredibly difficult.
That said, understanding the symptoms will help you face them head-on and learn how to overcome mental exhaustion. Below are some of the most common ones.
Emotional symptoms related to mental exhaustion:
- Feeling a lack of interest in normal activities
- A lack of motivation at work and in your personal life
- A sense of languishing or lack of purpose in life
- Moodiness and irritability
- Getting easily annoyed with others
- Cynicism, doubt, and pessimism
- A persistent feeling that something bad is about to happen
- Constantly feeling overwhelmed or stressed
- Depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts (if you are experiencing these, please seek professional help right away)
Physical symptoms related to mental exhaustion:
- Fatigue or exhaustion, even after a full night’s rest
- Sleep disturbances and changes in pattern (either too much or too little)
- Headaches, body aches, and muscle tension
- Changes in appetite
- Stomach issues and digestive upset
- Unexplained or frequent colds
- High blood pressure or irregularities in heart rate
Behavioral symptoms related to mental exhaustion:
- Inability to sit still, difficulty relaxing
- Forgetfulness, trouble concentrating, reduced focus, procrastinating
- Isolating oneself from others
- A sense of “going through the motions”
- Lashing out at friends, coworkers, or loved ones
- Self-medicating through the use of alcohol, drugs, or other things (like video games, excessive work, or physical activity)
- Exhaustion at work and trouble completing tasks
- Out-of-character lifestyle changes, like increased risk-taking behavior
Side effects of being mentally exhausted
Mental exhaustion is difficult enough to deal with on its own. However, the side effects of being mentally exhausted can compound the problem.
People who are mentally and emotionally exhausted often experience these side effects:
- Difficulties in relationships
- Decreased performance at work, including more mistakes
- Inability to follow complex ideas or resolve challenges
- Reduced self-efficacy
- Feelings of disconnection and isolation
- Taking more time off of work or missing social events
- Depression or anxiety
- Reduced resilience to stress and negative emotions
- Missed opportunities
- Lack of follow-through with important projects
- Decreased satisfaction across all areas of life
- Affected decision-making and long-term planning capacity
- Decreased physical health
- A lack of fatigue management
What causes mental exhaustion?
Mental exhaustion can be caused by many things. Typically, though, people feel mentally tired after experiencing long-term stress. This is especially true if the stressors increase a person’s cognitive load or reduce their resources.
For example, you may be responsible for completing a challenging project with many moving parts and tradeoffs. This would require a high level of project management skills and political savvy (e.g., increased load).
Another example would be traveling for work. Constantly changing time zones would leave you feeling jet-lagged (reduced resources). Many stressors involve both reduced resources and increased load.
Work travel to an unfamiliar country where you don’t speak the language amps up the cognitive load. Taking care of a sick family member may involve coordinating medical care and interpreting unfamiliar terms while managing emotions (increased load).
But you may also be getting less sleep (reduced resources). Over time, increased responsibility and stress plus poor self-care can result in mental exhaustion.
7 common causes of mental and emotional exhaustion
Though a wide variety of stressors can cause you to feel mentally drained, we’ve boiled down the 7 most common causes of mental exhaustion below.1. Chronic stress
This is the most frequent cause of mental exhaustion. Chronic stress keeps your brain — and body — on high alert all the time. Over time, this begins to wear away at your well-being. Chronic stress can also lead to empathy or compassion fatigue. It can become difficult to muster an emotional response to the constant strain.2. Uncertainty
The human stress response was designed to work efficiently in the face of short-term stress (think fight-or-flight). However, it’s a much less effective response to a constant, nagging feeling of uncertainty. Unfortunately, uncertainty has become far too normal of a feeling since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has made mental exhaustion more common than ever.3. Work stress
Stress at work can take many forms. It can arise from a values mismatch, difficulty managing tasks and priorities, or a high-demand, risk-oriented job. Some jobs (or programs of study) involve a lot of new learning. They could also require processing and making sense of a lot of information.
Whatever the reason, it’s not always possible to leave work at work. Left unchecked, workplace stress can even evolve into burnout. Your work stress could bleed into your weekends and ultimately, develop into a bad case of the “Sunday scaries.”4. Family issues
Few things are more stressful than worrying about a family member. Being a caregiver for young children, sick relatives, or aging parents can be mentally taxing. Even if everyone’s healthy, families can bring all kinds of stressors.
Divorce, disagreements, and estrangements have a way of following you into all areas of your life. Ultimately, family troubles can be a big cause of mental exhaustion.5. Juggling multiple commitments
In addition to caring for family, many people have other commitments on their plate — those commitments come with details, schedules, logistics, and challenges. Balancing an intensive school or training program, a second job, or a freelance business can leave you feeling like you’re never “off.”
If you don’t know how to manage your priorities, you’re at risk of becoming mentally drained.6. Emotional stress
There are dozens of things that can cause emotional stress. No matter the cause, the experience is similar. Constant negative feelings, events, and circumstances can make it difficult to relax. This emotional exhaustion can quickly lead to mental fatigue.7. Poor self-care
Without gas in the tank, you won’t get very far. When you get busy or you’re feeling a bit down, it’s easy to neglect self-care. However, over time this will affect your ability to be resilient in the face of stressful situations.
If you have a chronic illness, like multiple sclerosis or chronic fatigue syndrome, brain fog may be a side effect. Rather than pushing through, it’s important to be especially diligent about self-care.
How is mental exhaustion unique from other conditions?
Stress, depression, burnout, and physical exhaustion can all be easily confused with mental exhaustion. Let’s break down the differences between each so that you can identify which one you might be facing.
Stress versus mental exhaustion
Stress is a term that refers to anything that temporarily taxes a person’s mental, physical, and emotional resources. Our bodies respond to both good and bad stress in similar ways.
Ideally, we’re able to quickly resolve stressors and return our bodies to a state of balance. Long-term stress leads to mental exhaustion — not the other way around.
Depression versus mental exhaustion
Depression is a mood disorder that is characterized by a persistent low mood. People that are mentally exhausted often feel depressed, and those that are depressed feel mentally drained.
Many symptoms, like lack of pleasure, sleep disturbance, and cognitive impairment overlap. However, the terms aren’t interchangeable. Depression is a serious mental health condition that needs to be diagnosed and treated by qualified mental health professionals.
Physical versus mental exhaustion
If you’ve ever left the gym feeling exhausted but exhilarated, you’ve felt the difference between mental and physical exhaustion. Physical fatigue, like mental exhaustion, comes from prolonged stress — but from stress on the body. This could be due to not getting enough sleep, an illness, or other physical strain.
Burnout versus mental exhaustion
Of all the conditions we’ve mentioned, burnout is the most similar to mental exhaustion. They share a significant number of symptoms, and both are caused by long-term stress. Burnout, though, is classified specifically as a workplace phenomenon.
On the other hand, mental exhaustion can be caused by anything — not just work stress. Mental exhaustion in one area of life can often lead to job burnout, even if the initial stress wasn’t work-related.
Mental fatigue shares many symptoms with burnout, depression, stress, and physical exhaustion. Because of that, we can use some of the same techniques to overcome it.
11 ways to overcome mental exhaustion
When you’re mentally exhausted, even fun things sound like work. This can make it even more challenging to manage stressors. However, it takes effort and awareness to change the patterns that lead to feeling mentally tired. The good news is that you don’t have to tackle it all at once to start feeling better.
Try these 11 strategies for overcoming mental exhaustion:
- Eliminate the stressor
- Work-life balance
- Clear your space
- Schedule (and take) regular breaks
- Get outside
- Do something new
- Reduce screen time
- Find positive ways to distract yourself
- Take care of yourself
- Focus on what you can control
- Talk to a coach or therapist
1.Eliminate the stressor
If you can eliminate the root cause of your mental tiredness, do it. Sometimes things that we think we should do take up an enormous amount of mental energy.
Ask yourself, “Is this even something I want or need to do? And if so, does it need to be done right now?” Often we can decrease our stress by relaxing our own expectations. Not everything needs to be done perfectly — or at all.2. Manage your work-life balance
If it’s not possible to get rid of what’s stressing you out completely, try reducing the amount of time you spend on it. Fill your non-work, non-responsibility time with things that make you happy. Improving your work-life balance can boost your resilience, creativity, and mood. It can also help keep a difficult situation in perspective until you can move past it.3. Clear your space
Physical clutter often takes up mental space as well. Each item that’s in the way, broken, or waiting to go out represents an unfinished task. Tackling the mess will give you some breathing room and a sense of peace. It will also make you feel accomplished, helping you build some momentum towards the rest of your to-do list.4. Schedule (and take) regular breaks
Your brain, body, and eyes need some relief from focused effort. Take a 5-minute break every hour to walk away from your desk or the task at hand. Set a timer to remind you and prioritize this time even when distractions try to get in the way.5. Get outside
While you’re changing up your environment, spend some time outdoors. The feeling of fresh air and sunlight can be invigorating. If you don’t have time during work, see if you can take a meeting at the park or go over your notes at an outdoor cafe. Exposure to sunlight is important in regulating serotonin, vitamin D, and your circadian rhythm.6. Do something new
As adults, we don’t often make time to play or try new things. While you probably can’t imagine adding one more thing to your plate, it’s worth the effort to get out of your comfort zone.
Trying new things can give you a boost of energy, especially if it’s something you’ve always wanted to do. If the new activity is challenging or complex, you may even slip into flow — a state well known as the antidote to burnout.7. Reduce screen time
Endless video calls, emails, and notifications can wear you down quickly. Your phone and email keep your mind in a constant state of responsiveness. Taking a digital detox — even if for a few minutes at a time — can give you a break from being on call.8. Find positive ways to distract yourself
When you’re having trouble relaxing, it’s tempting to do something to help “take the edge off.” However, this kind of escapist behavior can quickly become a bad habit that doesn’t make you feel better in the long run.
Instead of coping with self-medicating substances, focus on positive methods of distraction. For example, you can cope with mental exhaustion symptoms by connecting with a friend, cuddling with a pet, or even exercising. You can also try relaxation techniques or breathing exercises.9. Take care of yourself
Cortisol is known as the stress hormone, but it doesn’t actually make you stressed. It helps your body respond to stress by making more glucose available, giving you a quick burst of energy. Because of this, stress is extremely demanding on the body. You can combat this by making sure to drink plenty of water, eat nourishing foods, and prioritize healthy sleep habits.10. Focus on what you can control
Your challenges may seem overwhelming, and when we’re stressed, we often lose sight of the resources at hand. Try making a list of every possible solution to a problem, no matter how outlandish or unlikely it may seem. You may find that more help is available than you thought. Trying to do everything alone is a shortcut to mental exhaustion.11. Talk to a coach or therapist
If you’ve been feeling drained for a while, getting an outside perspective can be helpful. A therapist, coach, or counselor can help you see where you can reduce your stress. They can also provide helpful tips on improving your self-care and work-life balance. If necessary, they may even be able to help you navigate a change of career.
When should you go to a wellness specialist?
Talking to a coach, counselor, or therapist is always a good idea. However, mental exhaustion can make it hard to reach out for help.
If you experience any of the following, you should contact a specialist right away:
- Panic attacks
- Thoughts and plans of harming yourself or others
- Uncontrollable crying
- Several absences from work
- Being in danger of losing your job
- Inability to take care of your children or loved ones
- Lack of attention to personal hygiene
These are all indicators that your condition may be more serious than mental exhaustion. You may need professional help to begin feeling better.
Even though it may feel overwhelming, mental exhaustion doesn’t last forever. Mental fatigue doesn’t happen overnight, and you likely won’t recover overnight. But with support and self-awareness, you can begin to overcome mental fatigue and develop habits to help yourself thrive again.
Definition, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
You probably feel tired and drained after intense physical activity, right? Well, long periods of intense mental activity can wear you out, too.
To put it simply, mental exhaustion can happen when your brain receives too much stimulation or has to maintain an intense level of activity without rest.
You might notice mental exhaustion, sometimes called mental fatigue, if you:
- often work or study for long hours with few or no breaks
- spend a lot of time each day dealing with overwhelming responsibilities
- live with mental health symptoms
- devote a lot of mental energy each day to thinking through problems, worries, or other sources of stress
It’s not uncommon to feel physically fatigued from time to time, and the same holds true for mental fatigue. Still, lingering mental fatigue can affect your ability to think, solve problems, or process and regulate emotions. Eventually, it can even lead to challenges in your daily life and in relationships.
Below, we’ll explore mental exhaustion more in-depth, plus offer tips to help manage and prevent it.
Mental vs. emotional exhaustion
Generally speaking, “mental” tends to refer to cognitive skills, like thinking, memory, decision-making, and problem-solving. “Emotional,” on the other hand, has to do with feelings, including your ability to identify, process, and express them.
You might notice emotional exhaustion when navigating difficult, painful, or unwanted feelings, such as:
Both mental and emotional exhaustion can leave you feeling detached, unmotivated, apathetic, and trapped. The challenges you’re facing might seem impossible to overcome, and you might feel too drained to keep trying.
If burnout comes to mind, you’re on the right track — burnout can stem from emotional and mental fatigue.
The signs of mental exhaustion often begin to appear gradually, but you might notice they seem to creep up more quickly during times of extreme stress — when your brain is working harder than usual, in other words.
Mental and emotional signs
One major sign of mental exhaustion? You feel far less alert than usual and find it challenging to focus, even when it comes to everyday or routine tasks.
Other common signs include:
- feelings of depression, including a persistent sad, low, or hopeless mood
- lingering feelings of anxiety
- difficulty caring about anything
- a sense of detachment, cynicism, or pessimism
- anger or irritability
- difficulty processing and managing emotions
- a sense of dread
- a decline in motivation or productivity
- feeling lethargic or slowed down in movements or responses
- difficulty concentrating, remembering information, putting thoughts together, or completing work correctly
Mental exhaustion can extend to your physical health, contributing to symptoms that don’t have a clear cause. You might notice:
- head and body aches
- upset stomach
- sleep issues, including chronic fatigue, drowsiness, and insomnia
- changes in appetite and weight
- frequent illnesses, such as colds and flu
- a general sense of unwellness
Ongoing mental exhaustion can begin to affect your everyday activities and behavior. You might:
- find yourself constantly putting off tasks at school, work, or around the house
- notice a decline in your performance at work or school
- drink alcohol or use other substances to help manage symptoms
- start to avoid people you’d usually enjoy spending time with
- feel irritable or distracted around others and have trouble paying attention during interactions
- have trouble managing responsibilities or keeping personal or work commitments
- find yourself calling out of work or school more often
Nearly everyone experiences stress from time to time — it’s the body’s natural reaction to new, overwhelming, or scary situations.
This biological response results in a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, that help you respond to perceived threats and high-pressure situations that require quick thinking.
Once you’ve dealt with or removed the stressor, your body’s hormones should go back to typical levels. But chronic or long-term stress can play a role in mental exhaustion.
When you continue to face a challenge or set of challenges that activate your body’s stress response, your cortisol levels remain high. Eventually, too-high cortisol levels can interfere with normal body processes, such as digestion, sleep, and immune system function. In short, if you don’t feel well and aren’t getting enough rest, your brain doesn’t have the chance it needs to recharge and reset.
You might feel physically exhausted:
- after an intense workout or other physical activity
- when you get several nights of interrupted or inadequate sleep
- if you have a physically demanding job
- during an illness or while recovering from one
Yet physical and mental exhaustion can also play off each other. So if you’re dealing with one, there’s a good chance you might also start to notice the other.
Think back to the last time you felt exhausted after a long day. Your body may have been tired, sure, but your brain probably didn’t feel too sharp, either. Maybe all you felt like doing was a low-key activity you didn’t have to think about.
And on the flip side, mental exhaustion can affect physical performance, making exercise and other tasks that require endurance feel considerably more physically taxing and demanding.
Mental exhaustion can happen when you often engage in tasks that require a lot of cognitive and emotional effort — especially when you don’t build time for rest and self-care into your day.
Triggers and causes of mental exhaustion vary from person to person, but some common ones include:
- having a demanding or high-pressure job
- working long hours without taking time off to rest
- experiencing financial stress
- job dissatisfaction
- providing care for a loved one who’s ill or has special needs
- living with a chronic illness or mental health condition
- losing a loved one
- having a baby
- lack of work-life balance or emotional support
Once you recognize the signs of mental fatigue, you might wonder, “What next?”
There are a number of things you can do to help ease mental exhaustion.
Making some lifestyle changes can help you address it at the source, while coping strategies can help you take steps to feel more rested and renewed when facing challenges that cause significant life stress.
Remove the stressor
You may not always find it possible to eliminate the triggers of stress and fatigue, but this typically does offer one of the best ways to relieve stress in your life.
Feeling overwhelmed by your responsibilities at work? Consider asking your supervisor or co-workers for help with tasks or try delegating some of your responsibilities to others.
Have difficulty keeping up with household responsibilities or caregiving? If you can’t afford to pay for professional cleaning or other support, it may be worth asking friends and family members for help.
Take a break
Time to rest and recharge can go a long way toward easing feelings of mental exhaustion.
A break might mean any of the following:
- clearing your schedule of nonessential tasks for a few days
- taking an extended vacation
- booking an hour of time for yourself each day
- leaving your office during lunch and taking a full hour for a leisurely meal, walk, or other nonwork activity
- setting aside an evening or 2 each week to have dinner or watch a movie with friends
Guided imagery, breathing exercises, and self-hypnosis are all examples of relaxation techniques that can help promote calm and ease stress and tension.
Evidence consistently suggests that meditation, mindfulness meditation in particular, can do a lot to relieve chronic stress.
Examples of other relaxation techniques include:
- tai chi
- progressive muscle relaxation
Try to get more sleep
Quality sleep doesn’t just promote good physical health. It’s essential for overall health, which includes your mental and emotional well-being.
Aiming to get the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night can help relieve both mental and physical exhaustion.
One way to make sure you get a better night’s sleep? Avoid spending too much time in bed throughout the day, which you might feel more inclined to do during periods of mental exhaustion.
A new bedtime routine can help you find relaxing ways to wind down, which can also improve your rest.
A few ideas:
- Take a hot bath an hour or so before bedtime.
- Try some yoga or gentle stretching before bed.
- Swap your phone or computer for a book, coloring book, or soothing music.
- Dim or turn off unnecessary lighting as you’re getting ready for bed.
Keep a gratitude journal
When you’re already feeling drained and low, negative or distressing thoughts can seem even more overwhelming.
To challenge unwanted emotions and thoughts and refocus on the things you enjoy in life, try keeping a journal where you note a few things you’re thankful for every day. Alternately, think of or say one thing you’re grateful for every day.
A set of three studies published in 2017 found evidence to suggest people who practice gratitude and gratitude exercises tend to enjoy:
- greater overall well-being
- fewer symptoms of physical illness
- reduced stress
- greater happiness
- more relationship satisfaction
- improved sleep
- better physical health
Mustering up the motivation to exercise might be tougher than usual when you already don’t feel your best. All the same, regular physical activity can have a positive impact on your mood, energy levels, and brain function, not to mention overall physical well-being.
You don’t need to engage in a complex or high intensity activity to reap the benefits, either. If you’re able to, moderate exercise, like a brisk half-hour walk, can still make a difference in your mood and help you feel calmer and more relaxed.
A 2010 study of 533 Swiss police and emergency response service corps found evidence to suggest moderate exercise wasn’t just associated with enhanced health. It also appeared to help protect against stress-related health concerns and make chronic stress easier to address.
Research from 2014 supports this finding. In a study of 111 healthy adults, study authors found that those who exercised regularly seemed to have greater emotional resilience in the face of acute stress. Regular physical activity, then, could make it easier to manage mental exhaustion and other stress-related symptoms.
Additionally, a small study from 2021 looked at the effect of both high intensity interval training (HIIT) and moderate intensity training on individuals dealing with coronavirus lockdown in 2019. Both types of exercise not only reduced stress, but they also reduced anxiety and depression, as well as increased resilience.
Check in with basic needs
Sometimes, rest can prove elusive no matter how exhausted you feel.
If you’re finding it difficult to recover from prolonged mental or physical fatigue, a good next step might involve exploring whether you’re meeting other important needs:
- Nutrition. Aim to eat a balanced diet and drink water throughout the day.
- Physical activity. Even if you don’t feel up to a workout, try yoga, gardening, or a walk through your neighborhood.
- Sunlight and fresh air. Spending some time in natural light each day, especially if you aren’t able to exercise, can also offer health benefits.
- Social support. Sharing your experience with loved ones can help you get the emotional support you need and perhaps even more tangible help from friends and family in a position to offer assistance.
Another important part of self-care? Reaching out for help when you need it. Trusted loved ones can listen and offer emotional support, certainly, but a trained mental health professional can offer guidance with actionable ways to cope with stress and relieve mental fatigue.
Remember, you don’t need to have a specific mental health diagnosis to seek (or benefit from) therapy. Therapists can offer support with navigating any of life’s challenges and stressors.
Reconsider your working conditions
If your job consistently demands more time and mental energy than you can realistically put in, it may not be a sustainable long-term career option.
Of course, you may not necessarily have the option of giving notice and taking time to search for another job. Also, coming home from work and spending the small amount of free time you do have on job hunting might only exhaust you more.
However, it can help to consider the options you do have open to you. For example, you might:
- set firmer boundaries around working hours so you can rest and relax each day
- ask your supervisor about potential workplace changes that could ease some of the burden
- set aside a few hours each week to search for a new job
- take 20 minutes each day to network and explore job opportunities
Unrelenting stress doesn’t just factor into mental exhaustion, it can also contribute to a range of other physical and mental health consequences. Eventually, stress can lead to burnout, where you can feel hopeless about anything ever changing and helpless to take action that might help.
Mental exhaustion can have serious consequences — and not just for your physical and emotional health. Ongoing fatigue can slow your reaction time and contribute to traffic accidents and dangerous errors at high risk jobs.
That’s one reason why getting professional help for mental exhaustion sooner rather than later is so important.
If you’ve noticed any of the signs and symptoms, consider connecting with a therapist. Mental health professionals can offer support with:
- identifying causes and triggers
- exploring treatment options
- learning helpful ways to cope with stress and demanding responsibilities
A doctor or other healthcare professional might also be able to offer support, especially if you’ve noticed physical fatigue and other health symptoms.
What about medication?
A doctor or psychiatrist might recommend medication to treat persistent mental exhaustion, especially if you experience other mental health or sleep-related symptoms. Possible options might include:
- anti-anxiety medications
- sleep aids
Keep in mind that it never hurts to build a team of caring professionals who can help you address all of the symptoms you experience. Some people find that a combined approach involving medication, therapy, lifestyle changes, and other coping strategies makes the most difference in their symptoms.
Searching for the right therapist? Our guide can help.
Mental exhaustion can happen to anyone, and it can’t always be avoided. That said, taking a few preemptive steps can help lower your chances of experiencing ongoing mental fatigue.
- Take regular time off. Taking a short vacation, or even a single mental health day, can help you head off mental exhaustion when you start to feel depleted.
- Make time for self-care. Building time into your weekly (or daily, if possible) routine for rest, exercise, and enjoyable activities can help you feel more prepared to handle the tougher challenges life throws your way.
- Rest when you’re sick. Whether you’re dealing with mental or physical symptoms, allow yourself time to rest and regain your strength. Trying to power through without any downtime will generally only leave you feeling worse.
- Stay connected to loved ones. Maybe you already know your loved ones can’t do anything to change your situation. Still, don’t forget the power of a compassionate listener. Simply talking through what’s on your mind can often help. It might even lead you to a solution of your own.
- Know when to say no. Taking on more responsibilities when you’re already overwhelmed can offer a nonstop route to mental exhaustion. If you dislike the abruptness of “No,” you might try, “I can’t, maybe next time, or “I’m not available to help at the moment.”
Untreated, mental exhaustion can have a major impact on mind and body wellness, and eventually, it can negatively affect your relationships with others and overall quality of life.
Prioritizing sleep, getting enough exercise, and employing relaxation techniques can all provide some relief. Professional support can also make a big difference in your symptoms.
A therapist can offer more guidance on treatments for mental fatigue and resources to cope with stress, along with strategies to help prevent mental exhaustion in the future.
Asthenia. What to do?
Asthenia. What to do?
Kachurin Artyom Aleksandrovich, psychiatrist, psychiatrist-narcologist of the highest qualification category of the Chelyabinsk State Healthcare Institution “KB “RZD-Medicine”, Chelyabinsk”, chief freelance psychiatrist of the South Ural Directorate of Health talks about asthenic syndrome.
Weakness, fatigue, emotional instability, headaches, sleep disturbances - this is the reality that awaits many who are faced with irregular work schedules, constant rush jobs, unhealthy work environment and lack of vacations. All these are nonspecific symptoms of asthenia. nine0003
In modern society, asthenic syndrome is one of the most common pathologies. According to the World Health Organization, asthenic disorders and depression are the second most common after cardiovascular diseases.
- Artyom Alexandrovich, tell us what is asthenia and why is it dangerous?
— Asthenia — a gradually developing psychopathological disorder that accompanies many diseases of the body. Speaking about asthenia in simple terms, we can say that it is constant weakness and fatigue. It is fatigue that is considered the main symptom of asthenia. In addition, asthenia is characterized by increased fatigue, irritability, and a decrease in mental and physical performance. nine0003
Asthenia can be one of the symptoms of various diseases: endocrine, infectious, somatic, neurological and hematological. Moreover, it can manifest itself as a result of physical and mental overload. In this case, we are talking about reactive asthenia, which will disappear when the cause that caused this reaction is removed. Another option is chronic fatigue syndrome, which does not go away even after a long rest. It is impossible to get rid of such a state simply by sleeping well. You will need specialist help. nine0003
— How does a disorder start?
- Asthenia is a problem, first of all, of lifestyle. Asthenic syndrome does not occur in a vacuum. It originates from the wrong way of life.
First of all, lack of sleep affects. There is a “golden rule” here - to be healthy, you need to get enough sleep. Moreover, healthy sleep allows the body to fight many diseases. Fresh air is of great importance for the body. Here the advice is unequivocal - even if you do not have the opportunity to take a walk on the street, open a window or go out onto the balcony. nine0003
And another useful hint. Probably, most of us once said: “It would be nice to do exercises in the mornings or evenings so that your back does not hurt or just keep your body in good shape!” And at the same time, things go no further than words. It is not right. We need to start exercising today. Lack of physical activity negatively affects the mental and physical state of a person.
And don't forget about the dangers of smoking and alcohol. Those who choose to be healthy find the strength to stop and quit their addiction. nine0003
- Many experts pay attention to proper nutrition. It's right?
- Of course, another rule for the prevention of not only asthenia, but also many diseases, remains a balanced diet. Avoid fatty and low quality foods. Do not let save on your body! Exhausting strict diets can act as a trigger for a painful condition. Therefore, before you "go on a diet", be sure to consult a doctor.
- About the dangers of stress
- Very often, asthenic symptoms appear as a result of constant physical and mental overload. Regular stress is especially harmful, so people whose work requires high concentration or emotional stress often suffer from asthenia.
— What should I do if asthenia occurs against the background of various diseases?
— Long illnesses and regular repetitions of chronic ailments lead to exhaustion and overload of the body. Since asthenic syndrome usually occurs against the background of diseases, it is important to consult a doctor in a timely manner, who will diagnose and prescribe adequate treatment in a timely manner. nine0003
Depending on the nature of the factors that provoked the asthenic condition, drugs of various groups may be prescribed. First of all, these are psychotropic drugs that affect higher nervous activity. Vitamin complexes compensate for the lack of nutrients, increase immunity and restore metabolism. Sometimes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed. They relieve pain in the head, joints and muscles. In some cases, sedatives and nootropics are prescribed, the former help to reduce emotional stress, and the latter stimulate mental activity. nine0003
— What are the main recommendations to avoid an asthenic condition?
- In general, it is worth optimizing your regimen. Learn how to properly plan your day, avoiding overload and overwork. Alternate work and rest. Spend many hours outdoors. In a separate line, enter physical activity in your regimen. And, of course, don't forget to take at least seven hours of sleep a day. As already noted, a healthy, full-fledged regular diet is important. Quality foods and a balanced diet with sufficient intake of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals will strengthen the immune system and energize. Therapeutic exercise is considered one of the points of the "magic recovery". nine0003
In conclusion, I would like to add that asthenic syndrome is a rather serious disease, but still it is not a sentence. A timely visit to a doctor, strict adherence to his prescriptions, a positive attitude and an active lifestyle will help to cope with this disease.
causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment in Moscow
Asthenia syndrome is a painful condition of general weakness, increased fatigue and rapid exhaustion. With asthenic syndrome, working capacity is disturbed, sleep problems appear, mood swings and vegetative disorders are observed. The diagnosis of asthenia can be suspected by a doctor of any specialty, but a psychotherapist can determine why asthenia arose, the reasons can be established. nine0003
Asthenia occurs as a result of diseases of the internal organs, infections, poisoning, emotional, mental or physical strain, as well as some nervous and mental diseases.
Primary appointment (examination, consultation) with a gastroenterologist
2 360 ₽ nine0080
Primary appointment (examination, consultation) with a neurologist
Repeated appointment (examination, consultation) with a neurologist
Initial appointment (examination, consultation) with a general practitioner
Repeated appointment (examination, consultation) with a general practitioner
Primary appointment (examination, consultation) with an endocrinologist
Repeated appointment (examination, consultation) with an endocrinologist
Repeated appointment (examination, consultation) with a gastroenterologist
Functional asthenia manifests itself in physically healthy people against the background of recent illnesses. Getting rid of the disease that caused asthenia leads to a quick recovery of strength. Functional asthenia manifests itself in people with an irregular work schedule: a constantly changing schedule of sleep and wakefulness, which contradicts natural biological rhythms. With this form of the disease, emotional exhaustion, fatigue (mental asthenia) is observed. nine0003
Senile asthenia. The disease is characterized by characteristic features caused by the living conditions of the patient. Senile or senile asthenia appears against the background of a general decrease in the immunity of an aging organism. Individual factors are also important:
- Improper nutrition. Against the background of malnutrition, weight decreases, weakness appears, fatigue increases, metabolism is disturbed.
- Weight loss. It is a consequence of malnutrition and a natural slowdown in metabolic processes. The tone of the skin decreases, the fragility of the bones increases, the natural protective fatty layer of the skin becomes thinner. Muscles atrophy, joints weaken. nine0085
- Decreased activity. Due to lack of nutrition and muscle atrophy, an elderly person cannot walk for a long time. General weakening of the organs aggravates this condition.
Senile asthenia entails a change in sleep patterns, weakening of memory, a decrease in brain activity, that is, cognitive functions, dulling of emotions, depressive states.
Single people over 65 are particularly susceptible to the disease. The older the person, the higher the likelihood of this disorder. In order for senile asthenia not to progress, an elderly person needs care and care. It is important to control his hygiene, diet, entertainment, outdoor activities. Current physical illnesses need to be treated. nine0003
Neurocirculatory asthenia is characterized by disruption of the autonomic system, which negatively affects the general condition of the body. There is a frequent heartbeat, shortness of breath is observed, a person may suddenly begin to suffocate from a feeling of lack of air.
Asthenia may not be felt in the morning or may be mild after a night's sleep. During the day, signs of fatigue increase, and in the evening they reach a maximum.
- Fatigue. The main symptom of the disease. Even rest does not relieve the feeling of fatigue. If mental activity is necessary, patients complain about the impossibility of completing tasks: they cannot concentrate, remember information, they have to “think for a long time”, it is difficult to keep their attention. nine0085
- Emotional decline. The inability to do work causes anxiety and anxiety, as a result of which a person is immersed in experiences. There are sharp mood swings: outbursts of irritability are replaced by a feeling of apathy towards what is happening. This condition can worsen and cause serious mental disorders.
- Autonomic disorders: pressure change, pulse inconsistency, tachycardia. There may be increased sweating, a feeling of chills or heat in certain parts of the body. Appetite decreases, there may be constipation, problems with the gastrointestinal tract. nine0085
- Sleep problems. The disease is accompanied by sleep disturbances. It can be insomnia, and disturbing dreams, frequent awakening, early involuntary rise in the morning (midnight). Sleep brings a feeling of fatigue, weakness, ceases to be rest. During the day there is drowsiness, but it is not always possible to sleep.
Timely diagnosis allows you to take control of the condition. A thorough examination of the body is prescribed to establish a physical disease that could cause signs of asthenia. An integrated approach is used for treatment:
- normalization of the patient's work and rest regimen;
- taking certain medications;
- a properly formulated diet, taking into account the need for vitamins and microelements.
Diagnosis of asthenia in the NEARMEDIC clinic
The NEARMEDIC clinic employs highly experienced specialists.