Rebel Diaries

Dr. Warren Kane - Dealing With And Avoiding Professional Burnout

August 15, 2022 Dr. Warren Kane Season 1 Episode 17
Rebel Diaries
Dr. Warren Kane - Dealing With And Avoiding Professional Burnout
Show Notes Transcript

Dr. Warren Kane, MD is a board-certified concierge psychiatrist located in Las Vegas, NV. He is the founder and CEO of Kane Psychiatry PLLC and specializes in Professional Burnout, Anxiety and Depression among High Achieving Professionals & Athletes. Dr. Kane graduated from the University of Arizona College of Medicine and completed his residency at the renowned University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. He is community faculty at the University of Las Vegas School of Medicine and helps educate future physicians on personal wellbeing and clinical medicine. 

What Scott discusses with Dr. Warren Kane

  • Why it's important to seek help before it's too late and gets much harder to deal with
  • How to identify if you are suffering from burnout
  • The three stages of burnout
  • How people look back on their jobs and ask "was it really worth it" in relation to not spending enough time with their families 
  • And much more...

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Welcome to the Rebel Diaries podcast. I'm Scott Fulton, international speaker consultant and trainer. Work sucks for far too many people in business and corporate life. And my goal is to fix that. My guests each week include authors, millionaires, entrepreneurs, thought leaders and inspiring people who share their stories, insights, and tips to help you transform your work and life for the better. They are the rebels because they challenge the status quo and help others to do the same.

Scott: You are listening to the Rebel Diaries show. Stick with me and work will never be the same again.

[00:00:00] Warren: They're like, "I'm burnt out. I don't know what's going on. My relationship isn't going well with my spouse. I'm thinking about leaving. What should I do?" These big decisions. And at the heart of it, I really need to do a couple things as a clinician. I'm ruling in ruling out medical diagnoses, because burnout, we know is a risk factor to severe depression or severe anxiety. 

[00:00:57] Warren: They feel forced to work there either because they need the money or that's their only job opportunity or they signed a contract. It's really unfortunate.

[00:01:05] Warren: You're not gonna feel well over time. And this is something surprisingly, a lot of my clients and actually a lot of my close colleagues really share with me that their values aren't really aligned with their company, but they feel forced to work there. 

[00:01:18] Scott: In this episode with Dr. Warren Kane, we discuss professional burnout, the six different causes to watch out for, and why it's so important to get early intervention. 

[00:01:28] Scott: Hi, Warren, and welcome to the Rebel Diaries podcast.

[00:01:30] Warren: Hello. Thanks so much for having me on. I really appreciate it. It's an honor to be here.

[00:01:35] Scott: Thanks for being here. Where are you hailing from? Obviously you've got a bit of an accent there. 

[00:01:39] Warren: Yeah, that's right. That's right. So I'm here in America. I'm located in Las Vegas, Nevada.

[00:01:44] Scott: That's great. Thank you. For a bit of background for the listeners, would you mind just telling us , what you do, where you've been and what you do now?

[00:01:51] Warren: Yeah, absolutely. So actually I'm a psychiatrist. So my name is Dr. Warren Kane. I have my own practice here in Las Vegas called Kane Psychiatry. I'm also affiliated with the University of Las Vegas's School of Medicine as community faculty but a recent interest of mine. And hopefully the topic we'll talk about today is about professional burnout.

[00:02:09] Warren: And so I've been focusing more of my time and energy on that.

[00:02:12] Scott: Yeah, let's get right into it. So what do you define as professional burnout? I'm guessing that's related to people at work, but obviously burnout can happen just generally. Can't it?

[00:02:21] Warren: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So my take is pretty different from many out there. And I really look back at the definition of burnout. And what's very interesting is when you look at the WHO's right, the World Health Organization's definition of burnout, they really classify it as a chronic workplace related stressor that really goes unmanaged or unaddressed.

[00:02:41] Warren: And so at the heart of it, when I'm talking with my clients, when I'm speaking with different organizations or giving presentations, I have found out is at the core of burnout, is really our work environment. 

[00:02:53] Scott: Okay. And when you say work environment, I presume you're meaning not physical environment or does that have a bearing as well?

[00:03:00] Warren: It has a little bit of bearing on it. But there's about six different things that we think about and one of those things include the environment that we're in, but also it depends on more value. One of the things that I'd like to talk about is the six workplace related stressors called AWS.

[00:03:16] Warren: And so this is a test that anybody can take, or any company can take to really evaluate how their work environment is impacting their workforce or their employees. But one of the things that we think about is workload, right? So the amount of workload that an individual is doing, if there's too much work, if they're unable to get through it, they're going to feel stressed.

[00:03:36] Warren: They're going to burn out eventually the second component. Is control. So if you don't have any control over your work or you feel like you have no say whatsoever in the work that you do, again, it contributes to burnout. Another one is reward. And the most common thing when we think about reward is money, but also there's like intrinsic rewards as well.

[00:03:57] Warren: And so if you're at a job and you're not getting anything out of it you're gonna feel burnt out over time. The fourth one that we talk about is community making sure that you have colleagues that you respect, that you have bosses that you respect, that you feel valued at the company. Fairness is the next issue that people commonly talk about fairness being, if you aren't treated as equally or equitably as other individuals over time, you're gonna feel burnt out.

[00:04:22] Warren: And the last one is just values, right? If you don't have the same values as a company that you're in, you're gonna feel burnt out over time. And so for one, an example of that would be like, if you work for an organic food, supermarket, and you're totally like anti organic, you're not going to really mesh with the company values and over time you're gonna feel burnt out.

[00:04:41] Warren: And my approach to burnout. And what I think about it is I think at the core of it, it's usually related to work, right? And at work, these six factors really play into it.

[00:04:51] Scott: Great. And shall we go through each one, one at a time? Can you wind us back to the first one? 

[00:04:55] Warren: Yeah. So the first one is workload. So the amount of work that you do. and maybe I could talk a little bit about how it affects us as professionals. Specifically I see a lot of physicians and I don't know how it is in the UK, but here in the United States, a lot of physicians are burning out.

[00:05:10] Warren: It's almost the number one profession that's burning out career wise when we look at it so for physicians, back in the day, we used to spend maybe 30 minutes or 60 minutes with a client before we move on to the next.

[00:05:22] Warren: Unfortunately the model nowadays often incentivizes physicians to see clients maybe in 15 minutes or less. And again, over here, it's not uncommon to see a doctor for maybe five, 10 minutes before being rushed out the door. And the doctor has to constantly do that nonstop eight through five. 

[00:05:40] Scott: So yeah, it's common over here. I help teams who are struggling with overload and part of that is the organization, the company putting unrealistic expectations on teams and the leaders within it. But also, I think the teams can find themselves in this vicious cycle of not being able to say no to things, because it's expected.

[00:05:58] Scott: I just need to do it. And there's this almost this culture of do more with less. It's like, "yeah, I want you to do more, but we don't have any money to get any more people in". And then, people will only go so far before something breaks won't they.

[00:06:11] Warren: Yeah, absolutely. And what I found working with different companies as well is that usually the first thing that breaks is the workforce in a sense. And it's being talked around the world, this great resignation where due to the pandemic, people have been really evaluating. Their life, their role related to work their role related to their families.

[00:06:30] Warren: And a lot of times, it's just really isn't worth it anymore. And so again, yeah, I think what you had talked about, not only talks about the amount of work they do, but also talks about the amount of control they have. And I feel like a lot of employees these days really feel like they have no control whatsoever.

[00:06:46] Warren: They're being told what hours to work, what jobs to push out. And over time, yeah, they're feeling burn out..

[00:06:52] Scott: And I can see how all those things are interlinked. Cuz if you're passionate of the values of the organization you'll tolerate more won't you'll be like "I really believe in the cause. So I'm gonna take a bit of pain", but if you don't believe in what you're doing, you're like, "screw this, I'm not doing any extra work". So these things are obviously all quite linked aren't they? 

[00:07:11] Warren: Absolutely. They're all interlinked.

[00:07:12] Scott: Yeah. So what was the second one? 

[00:07:14] Warren: So the second one was control. So we a little bit related to the workload, but again, it just brings to the fact that, are you taking advice from your employees? Are you constantly getting feedback? One of the things that I recommend to a lot of organizations is a lot of organizations conduct exit interviews, right?

[00:07:30] Warren: When a client or when your employees finally decide to leave or when you have to. Let them go. You conduct this interview about what went right at our company, what went wrong? What could we do better instead of conducting these exit interviews, it really encourages them to conduct, what they call stay interviews.

[00:07:44] Warren: So for those employees that are staying with the company, maybe those that are doing well, those are doing maybe not so well asking them what's going right. What's going wrong. How can we improve?

[00:07:54] Scott: Yeah. Those exit interviews are they're too late. Aren't they quite often cuz it's and the company, if they vary the employee, then they're like, "Bugger. Oh, can I do anything to make you stay? Can I give you a pay rise or I'll change things around" but then you've let the employee get to that state where they want to leave it. It's just too late. As you said, do it just ongoing, just evaluate how you're looking after employees.

[00:08:16] Warren: Absolutely. The thing that I would like to say to that is the way I conceptualize burnout. Again, it's related to work at its core. That's my opinion. But I also think of burnout has a real spectrum. And on any given day, we're all feeling burnt out to a certain extent. And you're listeners out there probably experiencing this too.

[00:08:31] Warren: I'm not feeling well today, or gosh, I gotta get through the day, and at work can seem easier than that too. But when it finally hits that breaking point, do we really talk about it as oh my gosh, that individual is now burnt out. And at that point it's usually too far gone.

[00:08:44] Warren: You're right. They've already accepted the fact that they need to transition to a different job or transition careers and kind of exit. So yeah. At any given moment, people are feeling burnt out. It's just, how do we keep more people from hitting that critical point?

[00:08:57] Scott: And you we chat about the control side for me it's important that employees should control of their destiny to some degree, but also in terms of the work that they're doing and being able to choose the work they do, but importantly, how they do it. And I think that's part of the problem I've seen with teams is a senior person dictates the solution.

[00:09:18] Scott: And quite often they're the wrong person to dictate the solution. They've employed smart people with the skills, let them decide how to solve the problem. The leader should set the problem, but then the team should have the control over how to solve it. That's really important. And if you don't feel in control, that's gonna contribute again.

[00:09:35] Scott: Isn't it to " oh, I'm just told what to do. And I don't agree with how I should be doing it". That's just gonna make problems worse. Isn't it.

[00:09:42] Warren: Yeah. With control, I would just say, the other term that describes it so well that you mentioned is autonomy. And just having autonomy in our workflow, autonomy in their job to get it done. And yeah, absolutely.

[00:09:53] Scott: Cool. Number 3?.

[00:09:55] Warren: Number three was reward. And we talked about, extrinsic reward, intrinsic reward, but you know what the person really gets out of doing their job. And you talked a little bit about it, but maybe a reward would be like, where do I see myself in this company? Where do I see myself in five years?

[00:10:09] Warren: In 10 years? Reward can also mean like monetary. But what's surprising is when you look at kind of some of the studies out there, realistically, even if you give people bumps and raises, when they're already burnt out, if you try to increase their money, increase their salary, that usually doesn't change people's minds a whole lot.

[00:10:25] Scott: Yeah, there's a, I can't remember the figure, but there's a figure they say that you get to when you're financially stable, you're covered all your needs and then anything on top, doesn't just really have that impact. 

[00:10:37] Warren: Yeah, Yeah, absolutely. And so a lot of the clients that I see are luckily like in a good financial position. And what they really struggle with is, " yeah. I'm making enough money for myself, but I'm still not feeling happy about myself. I'm feeling sad. I'm feeling depressed. I'm feeling burnt out. I really don't know what to do"

[00:10:54] Scott: This I'm sure is linked to, money doesn't provide happiness does it?, you hear of multimillionaires who are deeply sad and very unhappy.

[00:11:03] Warren: Yeah, no, absolutely. One of the interesting things is I found myself in this S niche where I treat a lot of high achieving professionals all the way from professional athletes to entertainers. And what's surprising is at the core of it, everybody is human at its, at their core, and everybody has these deep feelings and everybody can feel anxious and depressed no matter what their, social situation is or appears. That's absolutely right.

[00:11:27] Scott: And what else would you classify under the reward element then?

[00:11:29] Warren: Beyond money. The other things that I would think about, as I mentioned, is just where they see themselves in their workforce, in their life, is it an enriching experience working at their job? Do they get anything out of it? It could be mentally, right.

[00:11:42] Warren: It could be physically, it could be anything really.

[00:11:44] Scott: And do you think that links to things like recognition as well then? Because that's a form of reward, isn't it to be praised or just recognized by your boss when you've done a good job?

[00:11:53] Warren: Absolutely getting feedback talking with your colleagues, but talking with your boss, and those are just simple things and, we'll probably get into it a little bit, but what's surprising is there was a a Doctor Maslock. So she's one of the founders of kind of this conception of burnout.

[00:12:06] Warren: She started researching the subject back in the seventies and she conducts these studies on these large organisations. On which of these six areas are they not doing well at? And not surprisingly, a lot of large companies are not only failing at one, but they're failing at multiple, they're in these negative, correlations, but what's interesting is.

[00:12:27] Warren: Corporations really don't need to fix all of them to see that, to see their employee workforce I improve. And what I mean by that is improved retention rates. So what's surprising is if you just adjust one of them, if you just focus on one of these six categories, maybe the worst one to try to improve it.

[00:12:43] Warren: People at the organization tend to respond, dramatically well or profoundly. 

[00:12:47] Warren: The next one that maybe is a good segue is fairness, right? And so there's an example that Dr.

[00:12:53] Warren: Maslock talks about where, how a company was having like an employee of the month award. And ideally employee of the month should be like a good reward for people. We choose an employee at our organization. We wanna, we wanna take pride in them and show everybody else and have them take pride in their work.

[00:13:08] Warren: It turns out when she did her analysis is that many people at the company felt that it was unfair how they chose this employee of the month. And so every single month, all the employees were reminded how unfair the system was. And so constantly getting a pulse on your workforce or on your employees or who those who you hire can be so important.

[00:13:32] Scott: Yeah, I can see how that people would. "Oh, they won it again"

[00:13:35] Scott: or 

[00:13:36] Warren: Yeah. 

[00:13:37] Scott: " They're friends with the boss. That's how they got the award". I can 

[00:13:40] Warren: yeah, exactly. 

[00:13:41] Scott: people will be quite cynical about that kind of thing employee the month. Wow. Okay, great. So what was the next one? 

[00:13:48] Warren: The next one, the fifth one that we're gonna talk about is just community. And so having colleagues that you respect that you like having bosses that, you respect, the pandemic was very interesting because it forced a lot of us to go back inside.

[00:13:59] Warren: And we were really isolated and through Zoom or Google Meet or through all these other internet chats, we were able to connect to a certain extent, but still it was really challenging for some right. And so having a community around you that helps support you helps, provide, emotional support, work, support.

[00:14:17] Warren: This is huge. And so that's something to really consider..

[00:14:20] Scott: I guess I know which way you would lean then. So what's your take on the whole hybrid working, cuz companies are still wrestling with that. Aren't they? 

[00:14:26] Warren: I think it's very, it's. It's unique on the corporation that you're in. And of course we talk about, this amount of control. And of course, if the head boss is calling everybody in, that's probably not gonna be the best, best way to approach this situation.

[00:14:40] Warren: Again, it's maybe to take a pulse on what, what can be done at work or what can be done at home. What can be done at the office and is there a hybrid model that can really encourage or enrich our employees experience. And again, thinking about physicians in America, what's surprising is a lot of physicians.

[00:14:57] Warren: Now, those who could practice tele or what we call telemedicine or virtually are really demanding that. And, or a hybrid model where they aren't forced back into the office. So it really depends, there's sometimes where, if you're a software engineer for instance, and you can work entirely from home, it improves your happiness, it actually, studies have found that. Happy employees actually are a lot more productive, right? If they work on their own hours, this can really encourage them to accomplish tasks faster and more efficiently. So again, it really just depends. If now, then again, if you're a company that needs the employees in house in person, that's gonna be totally opposite then right?

[00:15:35] Scott: But do you think that will then have an impact on how people feel in terms of trusted? Cuz I think that's where some, I've read, some managers are struggling where, they've even gone to the extreme of installing software that monitors how often people are at their screen or what they're typing.

[00:15:50] Scott: And that just smacks of complete lack of trust.

[00:15:54] Warren: Yeah. You hit the nail on the head with the idea of trust, and I'm, self-employed too, I have several employees as well, the trust has to be there. And in the end, you, we can measure outcomes. And I think that's more helpful than trying to control what people do again.

[00:16:07] Warren: Now we're talking about control the other, the second topic that we talked about, but if we're controlling how people work, if we're controlling what they do or what they seem to be doing, in the end, they may not be happy. They may be less productive too. And the caveat to that is even if they were in person, how much could we control, them working on their computers, or our, or on their phones.

[00:16:28] Scott: Yeah, that's a obsession with outputs rather than outcome.

[00:16:32] Scott: Great. What's the sixth one then? 

[00:16:34] Warren: Yeah. The last one that we talked about was just values. And the values that you have, do you have the same values as your company? And I gave that kind of silly example related to like organic food, but it could really be anything too, if you're an individual who doesn't really like large global corporations, right?

[00:16:50] Warren: Like Amazon or something, or maybe you feel that Amazon is encroaching on us too much in our personal lives . But you're still working at Amazon, trying to, help them succeed. You're not gonna feel well over time. And this is something surprisingly, a lot of my clients and actually a lot of my close colleagues really share with me that their values aren't really aligned with their company, but they feel forced to work there.

[00:17:12] Warren: They feel forced to work there either because they need the money or that's their only job opportunity or, there's, they signed a contract. It's really unfortunate.

[00:17:21] Scott: How do you help people? So what's a journey like then for some of your clients, or I wanna say customers, what would you call them? Clients?

[00:17:28] Warren: Yeah. Yeah. I call them clients. The traditional one, I guess is patients, but no, I like to call them clients. And what I would say is, the answer's simple it's at the definition at the heart of the, WHO definition, right? Chronic workplace stressors that aren't addressed.

[00:17:42] Warren: If you take the individual out of the work, then they wouldn't be stressed anymore. And that's actually what the WHO mentions too, is that, the ultimate decision is quitting your job and finding something else that you connect with and you won't feel burnt out as much.

[00:17:54] Warren: And they've seen this too, also in studies but that's not a realistic decision for many people out there, unfortunately. And unfortunately, probably for your listeners too. So there's really two approaches to it that I think about, if we know that burnout is related to our work environment, We need to improve our work environment somehow.

[00:18:09] Warren: And that's usually not easy to do, having that conversation with your boss, trying to change these, the company's values or the company's goals. These are things that are a little bit outside of our control, but the most important part. Is trying to have a voice there in some way or some, somehow.

[00:18:25] Warren: And so in some corporations or some organizations there's different, different groups that meet, or you can talk with leadership at certain times, or there's, back in the day, the suggestion box, but a way for you to communicate somehow and educate your company on how you're feeling and what you think can improve.

[00:18:43] Warren: That's a really good approach. Again, it's really challenging. The one that everybody talks about in the media, in the books on YouTube, wherever you go is improving your own wellbeing. And it's almost like this term that's been used so often that it's like, what does it actually mean? But improving your wellness or your wellbeing.

[00:19:01] Warren: Can help improve your resiliency to burnout. But in my opinion, it really just doesn't solve the heart of, the heart of the issue. But I always encourage my clients, take a voice and also improve your wellbeing, improve your resilience and know yourself. If you know that over time, this is not gonna be a career for you in the next several years.

[00:19:21] Warren: Don't sacrifice your mental energy. Don't sacrifice your mental health for the job. If ultimately you're going to transition. So that's a little bit of a complicated answer, but that's how I tend to approach it.

[00:19:33] Scott: Okay. So yeah, so people, getting a bit of an exit plan, cause I'd imagine you've got. not client. I'm gonna call them clients, patients, but who like all six of those are just going badly and imagine "it's just get out, run away as fast as you can!". Cause you know, I get absolutely what you're suggesting, but people's capacity to change and influence the organization is gonna be limited by all this, the organizational culture.

[00:20:00] Scott: I've spoken to other guests on the show where, you've got the boss that's been there for 30 years and is not gonna change whatever you do. So yeah, it's, there's only so much people can influence. And then yeah, it's, as you said, it's get an exit plan because, you can only do so much. 

[00:20:14] Warren: Yeah. And that's a, as a psychiatrist, of course I prescribe medications, but I love doing therapy as well. And it is a process too. And we're talking about one of the major decisions in anybody's lives, working, it's not only something that you do and hopefully something that you enjoy, but that's where you get your money and that's how you support your family.

[00:20:30] Warren: That's how you support. Financial future. It's a hard conversation to have, the good thing is that many people have opportunities in one place or another, or they may find a solution somehow, but bringing awareness to the fact that, Hey, it seems like you're not working at a company that really values you.

[00:20:48] Warren: It sounds like you're getting burnt out. How is this burnout making you feel, feeling depressed? You don't want to feel depressed. Okay. So what can we do next? What are some big decisions that you can really consider to maybe make sure that your future is better, right?

[00:21:01] Scott: And do the people you speak to have the awareness that it's these factors affecting them, or do you find some people blame themselves and think, oh, it must be me. I'm not good enough. And I can imagine people might struggle with that kind of, oh, it's blaming them themselves rather than the factors outside their control.

[00:21:17] Scott: Do you see that?

[00:21:18] Warren: Yeah, no, that's a, usually people who come to me, aren't really aware of these six factors at all, or aware of anything. They're just expressing how they're feeling. And, probably in the UK too, but here in America, seeing a psychiatrist or, quote unquote shrink is like, yeah. a lot of stigma behind it. But usually when people finally pull the trigger and come to see me, they're really feeling really down. They're like, "I'm burnt out. I don't know what's going on. My relationship isn't going well with my spouse. I'm thinking about leaving. What should I do?" These big decisions. And at the heart of it, I really need to do a couple things as a clinician. I'm ruling in ruling out medical diagnoses, because burnout, we know is a risk factor to severe depression or severe anxiety. Okay. Do, did they reach that mark? If they didn't reach that mark, it's more okay.

[00:22:02] Warren: I think what you're feeling is feeling burnt out, right? Let's name, what you're feeling, and now let's take a look at to why you're feeling burnt out. And what's interesting is although I classify burnout as related to work maybe that's the nexus or that's really where it starts. But as as your listeners know, is that when we're feeling burnt out, it affects our entire lives.

[00:22:22] Warren: It affects our relationships with our families, with our children, with whoever it may be. We may be just irritable, in general. And that's traditionally not how we are. But when I start talking with my clients about these six different factors, they really think back on it and they're like," you know what?

[00:22:36] Warren: I think I am too stressed at work. And I think I'm stressed because X, Y, and Z," and it gives them a new perspective because if they're able to identify which of the six factors is really affecting them, or which is the most significant factor, they can try to work on that themselves. So in other words, Let's think about values, right?

[00:22:54] Warren: If you don't value the same thing as your company, maybe you can change your perspective on what you're doing and what your role is there to more fit with the company, if that makes any sense, right? 

[00:23:05] Scott: Yeah. And I'm sure people in that burnt out state, it sounds like many of the people that come to you have got to that like tipping point almost, whereas it's certainly if there's a stigma attached to seeing someone for help, I think it's a, certainly over here in. The UK in the last more recent years, it's become a lot more acceptable is the wrong word but just more people openly talk about it.

[00:23:25] Scott: I've seen in an organization I worked in before it was people blogging about their mental health struggles to the whole organization, and it was, there was lots of support and caring and all that kind of stuff. And that's about getting an intervention early, isn't it? And I can imagine people in that burnt out state are just, they don't have time to.

[00:23:43] Scott: Assess what their values are, let alone do they align to the organization? They're feeling so busy. They just don't have time to get into that. That time out that they must have with you to have that conversation go. "Oh yeah. Actually it's, and take some head space and think about it and talk about it. "

[00:23:58] Warren: A hundred percent. That's exactly what I would tell people out there, if I could get one message out there to your listeners or whoever it may be is that, especially when we talk about mental health and struggles, it's so important to reach out to a professional sooner than later, whether it be a psychiatrist, a psychologist, whether you even be your primary care doctor, your general physician, the more that we can talk about this with professionals, the quicker the interventions can be. And so if someone comes to me in the early stages of burnout, not quite hitting that critical point yet, it's gonna be a lot easier to kind of change what they perceive at their work or kind of work on kind of some of their values, or even for them to make different changes in their workflow to get to feel better.

[00:24:36] Warren: But if they're at the stage, They've not only burnt out, but now they're feeling depressed. It's gonna be harder to treat and address. And so that's really important for us cuz typically what has been happening and what still happens to a certain extent is that people reach this breaking point.

[00:24:52] Warren: They're finally feeling depressed and they're like, "you know what? I think I've gotten to the point where I need to see a psychiatrist" where realistically it should be. " I'm feeling a little bit odd. I'm a little bit more irritable. My wife says I'm a little bit more irritable" or whoever it may be. "Maybe I should talk to a doctor and see what's actually going on."

[00:25:07] Warren: So early intervention is the key. And I always tell my clients, if you come to me too early, it's not gonna be a bad thing whatsoever. It's actually gonna be a good thing. And if I tell you, you don't need to see me any longer, that's even more encouraging news.

[00:25:19] Warren: Right?

[00:25:20] Scott: Yeah. . So for listeners, people who might be thinking, " I'm not sure am I. am I suffering burnout?" And then maybe on the fence, do you have any kind of advice or almost a checklist that you would follow?

[00:25:31] Scott: Some, a self assessment or something in the medical space where you go, right? Do you meet these criteria? Yes. Yes. Yes. Okay. That's burnout. Is there any kind of way of, or is it not that easy to define?

[00:25:42] Warren: I don't think it's as clear cut, but let me give you some of the symptoms here that when we think about burnout, we typically think of a spectrum and you, your listeners out there who felt burnout, they're gonna really identify with this, but typically the first stage of burnout is feeling energy, depletion or exhaustion.

[00:25:58] Warren: " I feel worn out. I don't have enough energy. I'm more fatigued". And again, this is not only related to work, but it infects your entire life. You're coming home and it's I just gotta. In, in the us, we call it veg out on the TV. " I just need to sit there, do nothing to let myself calm."

[00:26:11] Warren: The second stage of burnout now really shifts to something that we call like cynicism. Okay. Now "I'm more irritable. I'm more withdrawn at work. Maybe I'm a little bit more aggressive to the clients or to the customers". Like now your personality is starting to change. It changed for the worse, right?

[00:26:27] Warren: So it's not only noticeable maybe by yourself, but it's really noticeable by your colleagues. The third stage of burnout after you become very cynical is just, you become ineffective, right? Your decreased capability, decreased productivity, you have low morale. You're unable to cope with what you're doing and in the most severe stage.

[00:26:47] Warren: This inefficacy really bleeds into feeling overly anxious or overly depressed. Or now you're starting to ask yourself, what should I do next? What are these big changes that I need to have? So those are the three areas that I really think about low energy, cynicism ,and inefficacy.

[00:27:04] Scott: Great. And as you said, people are intrinsically linked to their job. Aren't they, we spend most of our lives doing our jobs. And you hear, you ask somebody what, who, what you do. The first answer is usually what they do for a job. And people link their wellbeing, who they are is their identity is their job, which is why, some people really do struggle to let go of a job that isn't right for them.

[00:27:27] Scott: Maybe they've done it 10, 15 years. They've had to change a boss and now they hate their current boss, but they, all I know is this job, do you see that where people are just been there so long that they don't feel they can move? They're afraid?

[00:27:39] Warren: Yeah. And one of the things that we didn't mention in these six areas, but I like to talk about burnout just in general and just have a conversation about it is just culture too. And the culture of burnout, culture of related to work. The reason why I give a, so many example about physicians is so close to me, in America ever since basically college medical school. We do four years to eight years of residency. Then we are finally able to practice medicine during this whole time. We're ingrained with the idea that our patients are everything. Our clients are, everything. The hospital is the number one thing in your life.

[00:28:10] Warren: Everything else is second. And that really doesn't play well with burnout. It doesn't play well with longevity in the career, but it's the culture of medicine, right? Everybody who's in, it has been exposed to this to, to a certain extent. Now some specialties are a little bit more open to the idea, right?

[00:28:26] Warren: Psychiatry, especially, or some of these lifestyle medicines that you start hearing about, maybe plastic surgery or dermatology. But, for example, if you're a surgeon or cardiothoracic surgeon, I knew one back in medical school. It was really unfortunate. He had all the money in the world, he had a very successful practice, but at age, 60, he's still working 80 plus hours a week. And he told me, "you know what? I don't know if I would do this again because, I wanna spend time with my family. They have all the resources that they need, but I don't really have that personal connection with them."

[00:28:56] Warren: But this idea of culture related to burnout, Not only applies to medicine, but applies a lot of different fields out there. When we think about finance or, we think about some of these corporate jobs that people end up in, a lot of times people feel trapped and again, not only related to culture, but related to what the job brings us.

[00:29:12] Warren: And the identity of who we are. And I don't mean to go on too long. The identity of who we are, like you mentioned, is really ingrained within the job that we have. I'm a physician, I'm a banker, I'm a politician, I'm a CEO, I'm an executive, I'm a professional athlete letting go of that, acknowledging that if I let that go, I'm gonna feel better to a certain extent really addresses, your identity and who you are and what makes you, you right.

[00:29:38] Scott: You hear a lot of people that really struggle when they retire to the point of literally die of a broken heart or, get just chronic depression because their life, as far as they've known, it is almost over. It's oh, "what's my pur I don't have any purpose anymore". That's, it's quite sad.

[00:29:56] Warren: Yeah. And I'm blanking on the name right now, but there's these stages in life that as a psychiatrist we get trained on, it's more of a old school kind of therapy approach, but they do talk about how there's a shift and a change. Once people start to retire. And they really start looking back on their lives.

[00:30:12] Warren: And I really talk to patients about this. They look back on their lives about was it really worth it? We start asking all these deeper questions after we retire. When I feel like we should be asking, trying to ask some of these questions early on in our career or in the middles of our career.

[00:30:24] Warren: Acknowledging that, "you know what? I have a child right now. I wanna provide the best for them, but at the same time later in life, will I regret not spending enough time with him and not being there for him?" these are questions that you ask later in life. And it's a struggle that, you know what everybody has I'm gonna just normalize it.

[00:30:40] Warren: Everybody has this struggle. Some handle it really well. Others, not so much. But yeah, no, it's a key part.

[00:30:46] Scott: Yeah. They say regret's the biggest. Killer, the people on the death bed," if only I'd have done this and done that" and, yeah. 

[00:30:54] Warren: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I don't mean to make fun of this or anything like that, there's this whole phenomenon, I don't know if it's still a thing where people talk about, you only live once right. To a certain degree and that's taking it to the extreme, I think that question really.

[00:31:07] Warren: Should be asked to a certain extent, especially for people during this generation where now the world has adapted to more virtual careers out there, or are more open to providing, a better work life balance. Maybe ask yourself, Is this a job that I want, and why do I want it?

[00:31:24] Warren: This is a question that I ask a lot of people. Why did you even go into the job that you're doing? And so some physicians may say my dad and my parents, my grandparents, they're all physicians. So I'm a physician, right? Or they may have other reasons why they became a doctor or a banker or whatever it may be.

[00:31:37] Warren: And getting to know who you are at your core will help guide you on your path to what job you end up doing. What you want to do in life. And hopefully you can find some type of reward there where you can support yourself, right? Being passionate and this isn't really a big thing for many of my small business owners or entrepreneurs.

[00:31:56] Warren: Usually they've already taken that step to really wanting to create their business and having that autonomy.

[00:32:01] Scott: And do you find that you are seeing more people from a certain demographic? Is it an, don't wanna make assumptions, but I would assume. I am making an assumption that, is it generally the older generation of being in their jobs a long time, because you didn't tend to switch as much, whereas you hear younger generations they're jumping around jobs a lot more.

[00:32:20] Scott: They're sticking one or two years and an employee them moving on. They're a lot more willing to be flexible. Are you finding, is that fair? Am I right or wrong in that? 

[00:32:28] Warren: Yeah, let me just say this. I would say that actually a lot of the people come to me are in their twenties and thirties, maybe early forties, and it's really surprising. And I don't know why that is. Maybe it's because they're switching a little bit more. But when I think about it, I think the reason why is, again talking about mental health stigma, right?

[00:32:44] Warren: And I think in the younger generation, we're getting a little bit more exposed to it and, being a, having a voice and saying," you know what, I really want that work life balance". Of which I really hate the term work life balance, they want more life in their work and they're really more willing to go out and see a psychiatrist and seek professional help and ask them like, Hey, what do I do?

[00:33:03] Warren: What can I do? What should I do? They're seeking advice. Not to say that I do have older individuals who come to me later in life too. But usually at that time, like you mentioned it's only the, if only I wish I did this. I wish I didn't do that. And that's usually much more difficult to treat and to address.

[00:33:21] Scott: That's good. That you're seeing a trend of, people earlier intervention rather.

[00:33:25] Scott: oh, leaving it too late in that burnout and depression stage. That's great. Brilliant. Thank you. Any final tips you wanna share with our listeners? They're starting to think, "what do I do? I think I'm suffering this". 

[00:33:36] Warren: Yeah, two things, two things out there. I'm gonna add on another one. The first one that I would really encourage your listeners out there to do, if they can, is really try to take time to get to know themselves. We really don't spend enough time asking ourselves, is this, " why do I do the things in life?"

[00:33:50] Warren: "Where do I see myself in life? What do I value? Where do I go from there?" And these are some like deep, complicated questions that, people might give an immediate answer to. But if you sit on it and think about it over a day or two, you, you might be surprised on what you find. And of course the second one is just really really getting help when you need it right.

[00:34:10] Warren: Or getting help. Earlier than you think you need it, that's gonna be really key. There's so many of these life coaches out there nowadays, there's therapists out there. There's psychiatrists out there, any intervention you can take, the sooner that you take it, you're gonna be better off now than if you had waited an extra couple months, or if you waited that extra year, those are the two things that I would just leave with your listeners.

[00:34:32] Scott: Brilliant. Thank you. One of the questions I ask all my guests is if you had one book you could take to a desert island. You're gonna be stranded for the rest of your life. What would that book be?.

[00:34:40] Warren: Let's see. That's a good question. I haven't really read it that good of a book recently, the things that I'm most yeah it's silly, but yeah, the things that I most enjoy are just reading articles and reading, scientific papers or something along those lines.

[00:34:53] Warren: So maybe I would read a journal on, psychiatry and the reason why is. I find psychiatry an amazing field. Not only do we change people's lives on a day to day basis, hopefully make it better, but it's evolving so much. And there's so much new literature out there. There's so many different perspectives.

[00:35:08] Warren: If I could take like a most recent journal to an island, I think that would keep me keep me preoccupied for a while.

[00:35:14] Scott: Brilliant. Thank you. So if anyone wants to find out more about you and get a hold of you, how do they do that? 

[00:35:20] Warren: Yeah. Yeah. Just visit my website. That's how you can contact me. It's that's My phone number's on there. My email's on there. You guys can check out a little bit about my mission, my values, and what I really you know, want to do with my life. Yeah.

[00:35:40] Warren: Thank you so much for this opportunity again. I really appreciate it.

[00:35:44] Scott: No worries. Thanks Warren. I'll put those links in the show notes as well for the listeners. Thank you for being on the show. It's been great chatting.

[00:35:50] Warren: Absolutely. Have a good one.

[00:35:52] Scott: A big thank you for listening to the Rebel Diaries show, your time is precious. So thank you. It is appreciated. 

[00:35:58] Scott: The show has a new Facebook group for you to engage with others, discuss topics, and let me know what you think of the show. 

[00:36:04] Scott: There's a link to the group in the show notes or search Facebook for Rebel Diaries community.

[00:36:09] Scott: It'd be great to see you there .

[00:36:11] Scott: Until next week take care, be a rebel and deliver work with impact.