Middle-aged women cope with burnout in different ways

Stockholm, Jan 18 (IANS) Middle-aged women cope with burnout, which is caused by a prolonged exposure to stress, in different ways, says a Swedish study.

Burnout involves emotional, physical and mental exhaustion, manifesting as poor sleep, depression, anxiety, even cardiovascular and immune disorders among other symptoms.

Contrary to a previous study showing burnout to be stable over time, researchers from the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, were able demonstrate that women respond to and cope with burnout in different ways, the Journal of Women's Health reports.

Some middle-aged women had high levels of burnout followed by recovery, whereas others had increasing, decreasing, or stable levels over a nine-year period, according to a Karolinska statement.

The authors explored how these patterns related to changes in work-related and other types of stress in the women's lives and individual personality factors.

The findings are based on a nine-year study of burnout in middle-aged working women, undertaken by Annika Evolahti, Daniel Hultell and Aila Collins, from Karolinska Institute.

"This important study expands our understanding of burnout in working women, in terms of both patterns of development and relation to various stressors and individual factors," said Susan G. Kornstein, editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women's Health, which published these findings.

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