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  • Writer's pictureCait Donovan

#straightfromcait: Burnout and Depression: What's the Difference in Your Experience?

Updated: Sep 28, 2022


What is the difference between burnout and depression? I was recently asked this question in the FRIED. The Burnout Podcast Discussion Group on Facebook. Because I explored this topic at length in my book The Bouncebackability Factor: End Burnout, Gain Resilience, and Change the World, I decided to share a short excerpt on this week’s #straightfromcait episode.

While depression and burnout look different for everyone, my conclusion is that they may simply be two sides of the same coin. The key distinction seems to be that burnout is associated with high levels of stress, whether it’s due to work or to general life events, while depression may not have such a direct cause.

Tune into this week’s #straightfromcait episode to learn more about the overlaps and distinctions between burnout and depression and how they have manifested themselves differently in my own life. Once you have listened to the episode, I encourage you to join our Facebook discussion group (if you haven’t already!) and share your thoughts. Has depression been part of your burnout story? I look forward to hearing from you!


  • “The World Health Organization calls burnout an occupational hazard, but it’s an overall wellness hazard. It literally affects everything.” (2:49-2:56)

  • “My view is that burnout and depression are different results with similar causes. I believe that untreated burnout can lead to depression, so burnout can be part of the road to depression, but doesn’t need to be. My feeling is that the main difference is that people that are burnt out know they are burnt out, and that it’s because of overwhelm and too much stress. With depression, it often seems unrelated to other things.” (5:45-6:13)

  • “In my opinion, the depression associated with burnout manifests itself in self-doubt. When burnt out, you start questioning yourself and your abilities and/or passion for your chosen path.” (7:06-7:16)




If you know that it’s time to actually DO something about the burnout cycle you’ve been in for too long - book your free consult today:


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