Stress in itself is not negative. However, prolonged or repeated stress without enough time for recovery can be harmful to both the brain and the body and lead to psychological burnout.
Psychological burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and often physical exhaustion that takes a long time to recover from. The symptoms vary from person to person, but it is common to have sleeping difficulties, memory problems, and to experience fatigue. You can also be more sensitive to stress, easily irritated, feel anxious or depressed, and/or have feelings of shame and guilt. Physical symptoms can be, for example, palpitations, dizziness, headaches, sensitivity to light, and gastrointestinal symptoms.
Burnout is a gradual process caused by prolonged severe stress, but the symptoms can start suddenly and be experienced more as a crash. For example that you suddenly do not know your way home, get a lot of anxiety or blurred vision.
The cause of burnout is often that you have had a high workload, for example, in your studies, and/or a lot of strain in your private life for an extended period of time, without enough time for recovery. It does not matter if you find the tasks or activities fun and rewarding, you can still get sick. If you are unable to influence your situation, the stress often increases even more.
Many who get sick from stress experience a great hopelessness and it is important to know that you can get help. For example, you might need to take some time off, talk to a counsellor, psychologist, or psychotherapist and get medical treatment for your symptoms.
If you recognise the symptoms described above or have been exposed to long-term stress that is affecting your mental health negatively, you can start by calling 1177 (from a foreign phone number dial +46 771 11 77 00) to get healthcare advice (Vårdguiden) or contact the Student Health Service's telephone counselling.