Burnout, burnt out, burning out

Posted by Dr Michelle Woolhouse on 10 February 2020
Burnout, burnt out, burning out

In 2019 the WHO defined executive burnout as a real disorder. A condition that allows a fluctuating but significant mental health issue to be recognised is a very important move forward for our society's current workforce.

Characterised by cynicism, lack of effectiveness, fatigue, a feeling of overwhelm, disempowerment, disconnection, and a feeling of stress and anxiety. All of which disappears when the person is not working and reappears as that person gears up toward work again.

Disempowerment and disconnection are often found to be the cornerstone of most mental health issues and can cause a profound sense of despair, overwhelm and helplessness.

Victor Frankl, an Austrian psychiatrist, who was a former prisoner of the Second World War in Poland, intimately observed the impact of disempowerment on a person's internal sense of time. The key difference between prisoners of war and prisoners with a defined sentence is the lack of certainty of when the suffering will be over, in addition to no clear path in which a person can choose their behaviour in order to try to make a difference to their circumstances. This is a recipe for extreme helplessness and disempowerment and can in extreme cases cause a person to die.

He recalls a fellow inmate, who was known for his resilience and optimism. During a particularly tough time, where winter was in full steam and the day was beyond comprehension in term of exhaustion, disease, pain, suffering and anguish.  This man prophesied to his friends after a moment of insight that the war would be over by May 31st 1945 and that they would return home to what was left of their families and friends, free to start a new life. The prophecy felt unshakable.  He was committed to this date, this time, this hope, this dream - a new sense of vitality seemed to fill his weakened body and like an elixir, it held his waning health.  May 31st came, then May 31st went.  Within 24 hours, this man became weak and within 48 hours he was dead.

When our circumstances, our lives, our mindset or our health create a prison-like vice around our choices 2 noticeable things occur. The days feel like a death sentence long, arduous, painful, full of suffering, but the weeks and months feel like they fly past. Disempowerment creates an altered sense of time: this is it's distinguishing mental feature.

What is so interesting on the contrary, is that when a person feels empowered in themselves, in their lives, in their autonomy: so too does the sense of time warp again - this time in the opposing direction. Empowerment seems to bring along with it a sense of timelessness, where the deepest feelings of connection bypass the mechanics of time. On retreat, participants often remark how time goes so slowly, yet quickly at the same time. A day on retreat feels fleeting and yet the week feels like a lifetime.

Executive burnout is in some ways a less severe representation of feeling like a prisoner in our own living, and of our own making. We can be a prisoner to debt, to family expectation to a growing business, to a sense of responsibility. By drawing this longbow, extreme circumstances can reveal to those who observe them with intellect, heart and curiosity; a rich and powerful insight into the deeper blocks that can stop us from moving forward.

Executive burnout is real, under-diagnosed, overlooked and often disregarded but like all suffering and discomfort can be a great learning tool to help ourselves reveal a more authentic truth within. Learning to listen to your discomfort can pave a way forward and beyond to emotional maturity and mental growth.

Self-awareness is the key to our own personal sense of empowerment: by recognising a feature such as the distortion of time in our lives reveals to us the depth of what we may be challenged by. By acknowledging that sense of disempowerment we can move towards finding our personal locus of control, supporting the challenging of our own thoughts and working towards strategies of untangling ourselves from responsibilities that may be arduous, debt that maybe onerous and choices that may no longer serve us.

Book an appointment with one of our Psychologists or GPs who can assist you with your mental health concerns.

Posted in: Women's Health Men's Health Health and Well Being Family GP Mental Health  

A new approach to eating disorders and healthy weight management

Posted by Dr Kerrie Salbury on 8 May 2019
A new approach to eating disorders and healthy weight management

Do you think about food, your weight and/or exercise constantly? Do you feel guilty or ashamed after you have eaten or eat differently in private than you do in front of others? If this sounds like you, you are not alone as many people do. This constant thinking or changing behaviour around food and health habits can affect your self esteem, your productivity and can even impact relationships, sleep and result in either anxiety, depression or both. For some people this thinking pattern has become so entrenched that they consider it a normal part of being them.

Over the last 15 years or so, medical research has been focusing on the incredible aspects of brain plasticity. Where as in the past we used to think it was very difficult to change our thinking and behaviour we now know that the brain changes itself on an hour by hour/ minute by minute basis- every thought can change our brain. This has lead to some incredible break throughs in psychological therapy.

Dr Kerrie Salbury has developed a special interest in weight management, emotional eating, eating disorders, body dis-satisfaction and addictive behaviours. Much of the research supports challenging our previously held thinking and adapting a Health at every size (HAES) approach. Over thinking, obsessive thinking and high internal anxiety are common in those suffering from anxiety - so developing new, effective self regulation skills is at the core of psychology to support, facilitate change and enhance lifestyle medicine for future physical and mental health.

Posted in: Health and Well Being Mental Health Eating Disorders  

5 Strategies to Improve Your Body Image

Posted by Dr Kerrie Salbury on 8 May 2019
5 Strategies to Improve Your Body Image
  1. Focus on your positive qualities, skills and talents. Are you funny, artistic, strong, an animal lover, a great cook, singer, writer, artist, caring, dependable?
     
  2. Start saying positive things to yourself daily. Save them as screen savers, plaster them around the house. It's time to end the cycle of verbal abuse- you would talk to people you love this way.
     
  3. Focus on what your body has done. For example, learnt a musical instrument, given birth, danced, played in the rain, climbed trees,  driven a car, cooked, swam, parachuted, gardened, cycled, cleaned, socialised, hugged, laughed.
     
  4. Avoid making body comparisons with others.
     
  5. Cleanse your social media- make a conscious decision about what you read and view. Media images can be unrealistic and only represent a minority of the population.
Posted in: Health and Well Being Mental Health Eating Disorders  

Hypertension

Posted by Dr Michelle Woolhouse on 2 December 2018
Hypertension

Is hypertension the same as high blood pressure?  Yes

Why is it important? Because if we don't treat it, it puts us at risk of damaging our internal blood vessels and risking them bursting.

The outcome of this is commonly a stroke or aneurysm. It is also a major risk factor for heart disease and micro-vascular dementia.

If you are over the age of 50 years, it is important to get your blood pressure checked yearly at the very least. The reason why you need to check it, is that high blood pressure is often associated with no symptoms. So you won't know if you have it.

It is also one of the easiest risk factors to treat.  If your are concerned about your blood pressure, or it fluctuates from time to time or you have a strong family history why not talk to Nurse - Heather about having a 24 hour blood pressure check up 03 5986-4229. This can be done if you are wanting a more accurate diagnosis or if you are on medication and want to make sure it is effective - day and night.

Talk to your GP or nurse today about your blood pressure and they can help you be pro-active about your most important gift - your health.

Posted in: Women's Health Preventative Medicine Men's Health Chronic Illness Health and Well Being Family GP  

What is My Health Record (MHR)?

Posted by Dr Michelle Woolhouse on 2 December 2018
What is My Health Record (MHR)?
  • MHR is Australia's national electronic health record system. 
  • It provides online storage for documents and data containing information about your health.
  • The information can be uploaded by you, your healthcare providers, or by Medicare.
  • It is you who will decide whether to make your information available to healthcare organisations and health care practitioners.

The My Health Record system has been running for several years. In the past it required you to opt-in, the change is that you will now be automatically registered unless you 'opt-out' before 31st January, 2019.

What are the benefits of having a My Health Record?

  • Your- "My Health Record" may provide an additional source of information for your doctor that was previously not available.
  • A doctor that you don't see regularly will be able to access your past medical history.
  • In the event of an emergency, if you are unable to provide information about your medical history, healthcare providers will be able to access your My Health Record to see your health information such as allergies, medicines and immunizations.
  • It enables you to better track and manage your own health

What about your privacy?

  • Your My Health Record is personally controlled by you; it's your choice who sees the information.
  • You are able to track who have accessed and updated your My Health Record
  • The uploaded documents in the My Health Record are set to general access for healthcare providers by default, however, you can change your access controls at any time.
  • Your My Health Record can be used by The Department of Health for secondary purposes such as research, policy and planning. However, you can elect for your information not to be used for such purposes.
  • Your information cannot be used non-health related purposes, this includes commercially.
  • Your information cannot be provided to insurance agencies.
  • You can nominate whether you wish to give access to other people such as carer's, friends or other family members.

Note: You are NOT able:

  1. Alter the content of clinical documents created by a healthcare provider
  2. Restrict particular healthcare providers access to your record (only able to restrict access to the health organisation as a whole)

So what next?

  1. You can choose not to have a My Health Record at all (by opting out by 31st January 2019 or cancelling an existing record at any time)
  2. If you choose to opt-out, you can still register for a My Health Record at a later date.
  3. You have the power to instruct your healthcare provider/GP to not add particular information into your My Health Record.
  4. You can set a record access code to give access only to selected health organisations.
  5. You can choose to give access to a nominated representative such as a family member, close friend or carer.
  6. You can remove particular documents from the record.
  7. You can set up automatic notifications via an email or text to alert you when a new healthcare provider accesses your record.
  8. Feel free to discuss your decision regarding your My Health Record with your GP

For further information: https://www.myhealthrecord.gov.au/

If you wish to opt-out of My Health Record: https://www.myhealthrecord.gov.au/for-you-your-family/opt-out-my-health-record

Posted in: Women's Health Men's Health Children's Health Health and Well Being Family GP  
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