What is hyperstress, the last stage before exhaustion?

It would affect one in four employees. Hyperstress is an emotional state that marks the last step before sinking into exhaustion.

Dr. Patrick Légeron, psychiatrist at the university department of Sainte-Anne Hospital in Paris and founder of the Stimulus* practice, sheds light on the signs to watch out for and gives some advice on taking care of yourself.

To explain hyperstress, Dr. Légeron makes the analogy with hypertension. “When our blood pressure is normal, everything is fine. But too high can lead to serious complications.

Well, hyperstress is a bit of the same thing. In traffic jams, after a computer failure, we all get stressed. Mild stress can have certain virtues. But when it becomes too intense and chronic, that’s when it becomes detrimental.“.

Between stress and exhaustion

For the psychiatrist, hyperstress is the missing link “between stress and exhaustion.” And if the figures for the general population are still missing, the specialist estimates that 22 to 25% of employees in France (mostly women) suffer from this hyperstress. Therefore, it is essential to detect it before falling victim to burnout. Four areas can, if combined, reveal a state of hyperstress:

  • Physical (marked by palpitations, digestive disorders, sexual breakups, etc.);
  • psychological and emotional (irritability, anger…);
  • Cognitive (forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, etc.);
  • behavioral (alcohol consumption, tobacco, eating disorders, etc.).

“Take care of yourself… and others”

“When something is wrong, you go to the doctor. It is the same for hyperstress, you should not take its manifestations lightly”, warns Patrick Légeron.

So how to react? “Don’t deny yourself. Pay attention to the slightest sign so as not to let stress settle in the long term”he continues.

“Take care of yourself. Think about the sources of stress. Is it possible to remove them? Simple meditation or breathing methods can help. Don’t neglect the value of digital disconnection either. Take care of your body. repeatedly shown that physical activity contributes to a reduction in stress. Like the quality of sleep. And we must not forget, maintain good social relations. Finally, also pay attention to others. Prevention is also collective. If you sense a change in behavior in a loved one or colleague, don’t hesitate to talk to them about it.”

And, of course, discuss the matter with your doctor, the doctor at work or seek the help of a specialist such as a psychologist.

* Consulting on well-being and psychological health at work

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