Is President Obama Suffering
From Job Burnout?
In recent weeks
TV and talk show pundits have been talking about
reports that President Obama is “depressed” and
taking anti-depression medication. If so, what’s
going on with him.
According to Dr. Beverly Potter, President
Obama appears to have fallen victim to JOB
BURNOUT, which is a kind of job depression.
Burnout is a motivational
problem caused by damned-if-you-do;
damned-if-you-don’t situations, where the person is
expected to “win” but cannot do so. No matter how hard
he tries, President Obama, for example, cannot get
support for his programs. His base is attacking him
and he cannot satisfy them. The result is feelings of
helplessness and hopelessness—“No Can Do”—which
You can think of motivation as how a person
gets moving and keeps moving. In burnout, the victim
gets stuck and cannot get moving. The result is
demotivation, discouragement, despair, despiriting,
Many equate burnout
with stress, suggesting that stress causes
burnout. This is not the case. Burnout is
"stressful" and that stress must be reduced or it can
cause physical damage. But burnout is not caused by
stress. Burnout is caused by feelings
of helplessness and hopelessness. As a metaphor,
you can think of "stress as the fever of
burnout". Like with pheumonia a high fever can
be dangerous and must be reduce, but reducing the
fever does not
cure the pneumonia. Similarly, taking a beach-side
vacation may reduce stress, but it does nothing for
no-win situations on the job.
Burnout victims tend
to withdraw and become isolated from the support of
others. We all talk to ourselves about our experiences
in the world. When burning out such self-talk becoming
increasing negative, tinged with feelings of
helplessness, which without reality checks from
friends and family leads to a vicious cycle that can
become nearly impossible to break.
Common burnout symptoms exhibited by President Obama
Lack of energy associated with
feelings of tiredness and trouble
keeping up with usual activities.
President Obama appears to have
emotionally shut down.
to a recent Gawker article, “Obama no longer
finds joy in the political back-and-forth” and
“has seemed increasingly listless to
burnout takes hold, the victims' ability to perform
diminish— they become increasing impatient and blame
family and coworkers for their failures and
Burnout victims seek appreciation but double bind
situations result in their not getting recognition so
they become bitter, angry, and resentful—leading to
Substance Abuse: Physical
aliments such as headaches, colds, backaches
plague the burnout victim. They
often turn to self-medicating with alcohol,
prescription meds, pot and tobacco to soothe their
stress and de-stress. Many have reported that
Obama has been taking anti-depressant meds and
smoking about a pack a day, despite Michele's
ARE YOU BURNING OUT? QUIZ
WHAT IS THE BURNOUT POTENTIAL OF YOUR JOB?
Dr. Beverly Potter
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