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Stress Management: Stress Burnout Stages

Stress Burnout

Stress burnout is a process that usually occurs sequentially; it progresses through stages, thus giving you the opportunity to recognize symptoms and take the necessary steps to prevent it.


If you see yourself in stage 1 – it is time to get help –

your stress level is beyond your control.

Stage One - Stress Arousal Stage

Symptoms include:

  • Persistent irritability and anxiety
  • Insomnia or restless sleep
  • Occasional forgetfulness
  • Unable to concentrate

Stage Two - Stress Resistance Stage

Symptoms include:

  • Absenteeism or tardiness from work, school, or social activities
  • Tired or fatigued for no reason
  • Procrastination and indecision
  • Social withdrawal with cynicism
  • Resentful, indifferent, defiant
  • Increased use of coffee, alcohol, tobacco, etc

Stage Three - Severe Exhaustion Stage

Symptoms include:

  • Chronic sadness or depression
  • Chronic mental and physical fatigue
  • Chronic stress-related illnesses (headache, stomach ache, IBS, etc.)
  • Isolation, withdrawal, self-destructive thoughts
  • Death