Side Effects of Staying in Despair After a Burnout

In the context of Burnout but not only, staying in burnout may feel like the “Only option” to get love and attention. But staying in despair has some serious consequences that you can not ignore.


The side effects of staying in despair are real and quite often ignored in the context of burnout because well there are more important aspects to address and that people feel that it is quite benign to actually express despair in order to get a little love and attention. However benign this motivation might be, there is a darker side to that equation, an hostile motivation. And in the context of burnout, where the person suffering from burnout is totally vulnerable, it is not something that should be blissfully ignored.

By expressing their feeling of despair and seemingly getting deeper and deeper into that feeling, the desperate people are holding people around them hostage.

How can people be honest and speak their mind, around a person who just suffered a burnout and who is in so much despair?

The answer: they can’t. So they walk on eggshells in order to not tip the boat.

Fair? Not really. But it is not consciously done.

So today I want to point out the side effects of staying in despair and the consequences.

  1. Despair reduces the sense of guilt because it feels like a form of penance.
  2. Despair brings sympathy from others, even love.
  3. Despair justifies abandoning relationships with family and friends with the idea that they will be better off without the desperate person.
  4. Despair is an excuse for avoiding obligations and responsibilities.
  5. Despair is a way of punishing others who feel they must help and yet fail to help.
  6. Despair makes it difficult for significant others to leave because it would mean abandoning a desperate person.
  7. Despair justifies indulging in addictions and other self-destructive but pleasurable behaviors.
  8. Despair, especially when it comes together with a threat of suicide, is a way to dominate others who are afraid to upset the desperate person will walk on egg shells.

So what can you do?

Solutions to counter the side effects of despair in the context of burnout

  • First of all, you need to recognize that your actions have consequences. For you and for those around you. Awareness is key.
  • Secondly, you need to take ownership of your whole life, yes, that means that you have to take responsibility for the burnout. It does not mean that you take the blame and it is not a free pass for keeping on self-punishment. But if you own your life, you are in charge, you are empowering yourself to be in the driver seat. You are no longer disempowered.
  • Thirdly, you need to take massive action to define a compelling future, to rebuild your sense of identity, outside of whatever sense of identity before the burnout.

I know that for most, it will be easy, and for some, it will be overwhelming. I know that the first feeling may be “But I have tried everything, there are no other option…”

Don’t let those thoughts distract you. You are stronger and more resourceful than you know. Put yourself in a more empowered state and you will find solution that you did not think existed.

And finally, if it seems all to complicated, then don’t give up. It may be time to call in the experts. People that will be able to help you regain your sense of identity, reconnect you with the most resourceful part of yourself and help you define that compelling future that you are meant to experience.

Remember a bad experience is not a reason to give up. Learn from that experience and keep on trying.

If you need help, you can contact me at or book a free power session with me, by clicking here

With care

Joelle @

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