Burn-out. The slogan appears always in the media, when celebrities like footballer Sebastian Deisler come out publicly. But the diagnosis affects not only the famous and mega-successful. Even teachers, engineers, and managers of small businesses can be struck. According to one study, nine million people affected. Accordingly, one in four employees would be burned out.

Here are the top ten most important questions about burn-out and compiled them answered by experts and recent studies.

1. What is burn-out exactly?

“The term burnout refers to both the process of burning out – it can drag on for months or even years – and the final state of total exhaustion,” says the psychotherapist Bösche Uwe Meyer. In most cases, including the status of a work-related fatigue is described which is shown by alienation from himself, cynicism, and decreased efficiency.

2. How dangerous is burn-out for skilled workers?

A burn-out can be life threatening. The pop singer Peter Schilling reported (“Major Tom”) in an interview: “I tell you: This is not the flu! This is a really serious disease. “In the worst cases developing burnout to depression and can lead to suicide.

3. Burn-out has long been known as “executive” of brokers. Is he comes in the middle class before?

Burn-out is always an issue when it meets busy performers such as Michael Schumacher’s former manager Willi Weber, the ski jumper Sven Hannawald or the country singer Hank Snow. But danger lurks everywhere, where people work a lot – in large as well as in small businesses. Whenever the relationship between work and rest from the scale device. “The increase of burn-out cases is indicative of our competitive society,” says Sylvia Fritz, who works as a coach.

4. Whom it is most likely?

It often takes the industrious. Employees, who want to have everything right, can be hard to say no. You cannot burn out if they meet their own high expectations of themselves. They are in the company mostly good people who are hard to replace.

5. Why is such a problem for businesses?

For a company, the burn-out negative employee consequences, says Veit Hannemann of innGema, the Berlin network for innovative health management: “A sick employee for a company more expensive than preventive investment in his health.” An employee, who due to illness goes down, costs up to 400 € a day. Also ineffective operation over a longer period of burn-out costs companies money.

6. What are the most common causes of burnout among professionals and managers?

Most of excessive ambition and self-generated pressure are reasons for burnout. Often these characteristics are favorable with a feeling that one is held back in the job: Deteriorating working conditions, time pressure, poor work environment or a lack of influence on work organization can support the tendency to burn-out yet. But not to be the feeling in planning and decision-making involved to be made for failures but the cause and the fear of job losses in susceptible individuals make burnout at risk. A classic example: If you work hard for a promotion and they still do not get, can thereby fall into a deep hole.

7. What to do about it?

Large and medium-sized companies are trying to increase early detection of mental illness in their employees and to respond. TUI AG now offers, for example, to prevention services for mental health. In a pilot project to all employees of the company headquarters in Hanover, was offered a health coaching. “We did not consciously spoken of therapy or counseling, to keep the threshold as low as possible,” says Lars coach, project manager for health at TUI. An external e-mail address was interested to arrange a meeting with a psychologist. The response was so great that the project continues. Moreover, those affected will soon be able to check with a competent team of counseling or therapy. And managers are trained in workshops to identify signs of burn-out.

8. Is that a concept for small and medium-sized businesses?

Probably not, says innoGema of the research project Veit Hannemann. In small companies, the framework from one day to the next change too fast” If a company within a very short time, two large orders get and double the number of employees suddenly have to manage their health first secondary. First and foremost, it then goes about fulfilling the orders. In this case, however, employees have just in such times is a need for compensation by sports courses and stress seminars. Hannemann researched just about how small businesses can incorporate health issues in their daily lives.

9. What can companies do to prevent burnout?

The best prevention is a good working climate. The employees must not be under-nor over-calls: It is important to an organization of work. But the boss is competent. “Burn-out is enhanced when employees do not find recognition. They put their whole strength in the job and get little back, “says Susanne Roscher, Consultant for Occupational and Health Psychology of the statutory accident insurance VBG in Hamburg. Here, the money plays less a role than honest appreciation. Leaders should give their staff and security. Once, by being a role model and their subordinates on the other signal: it may sometimes make mistakes.

10. How can I tell if I or my staff is at risk?

The interested parties respond to their excessive demands with excessive labor input pull back from friends and colleagues and neglect their leisure activities. Also, they feel criticized as devaluing their person react hostile to their social environment, are irritable and aggressive towards colleagues and customers. Typical are also increased consumption of nicotine, alcohol and drugs or the abuse of tranquilizers and stimulants. The body sends warning signs: report frequently affected by headache, insomnia and muscle tension. Also gastrointestinal disturbances, increased blood pressure, heart palpitations, sweating, tinnitus and hearing loss may experience physical symptoms.