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How to Tell If You’re Depressed or Burned Out, According to Experts

At some point, everyone has experienced temporary feelings of sadness, exhaustion, and irritability. When these feelings settle in for longer stretches, though, it can be difficult to pinpoint what exactly you’re experiencing and what you need to do to address it. In the Venn diagram of depression and burnout, several symptoms overlap, with both depression and burnout often manifesting as a loss of interest in things you normally like, perpetual emotional exhaustion, and feelings of emptiness and hopelessness.

From longer work hours to increased demands at home, stress has permeated nearly every aspect of our lives. If you’ve been feeling numb or overwhelmed and can’t tell whether you’re depressed or burned out, you’ve come to the right place. POPSUGAR spoke with experts to better understand the differences between burnout and depression and how they’re treated.

What Is Burnout?

“Burnout is a slow leak of your energy over a prolonged period of stressful time related to being overloaded and overwhelmed,” therapist and author Bridgit Dengel Gaspard, LCSW, tells POPSUGAR. “Simply put, burnout is exhaustion. You feel depleted and have no bandwidth for anything extra beyond getting through the day, and when it’s really bad, there isn’t even the ability to get out of bed.”

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