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Burnout vs. Depression

Am I feeling symptoms of burnout or is it depression?

A very important question with an equally important distinction.

Symptoms of burnout are very similar to symptoms of depression, but there are a few differences. Both share the feelings of exhaustion, stress, and hopelessness. But still, burnout is not depression, and depression is not burnout.


  • Caused by work, caretaking stress, or routines

  • Temporary

  • Resolved with taking a break and self care/boundaries, or removing the stressor

  • Feeling exhausted and low energy, difficulty concentrating, cynicism


  • Caused by environmental stressors or biology

  • Lasts for at least 2 weeks

  • Not always resolved, can be chronic; medication & therapy help

  • Sleep disturbances, lack of interests, suicidial thoughts, difficulty concentrating

Some Final Thoughts

Can depression and burnout coexist? Absolutely. But treatment for each will look different.

If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, know that you are not crazy and you're not alone, but may it's time to reach out to someone.

You Got This.

Samantha Hoover, LPC

Thorn & Rose Counseling, PLLC

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