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Burnout is a psychological term for the experience of long-term exhaustion and diminished interest.

In e-wrestling, burnout may occur to the handler of his/her character's e-wrestler. The handler may experience a difference between the balance of the fictional character's progression and one's own personal life. There are number of phases towards burnout, but also options to prevent and/or cope with the condition.

Psychologists Herbert Freudenberger and Gail North have theorized that the burnout process can be divided into 12 phases, which are not necessarily followed sequentially, nor necessarily in any sense be relevant or exist other than as an abstract construct.

  • A compulsion to prove oneself
  • Working harder
  • Neglecting one's own needs
  • Displacement of conflicts (the person does not realize the root cause of the distress)
  • Revision of values (friends or hobbies are completely dismissed)
  • Denial of emerging problems (cynicism and aggression become apparent)
  • Withdrawal (reducing social contacts to a minimum, becoming walled off; alcohol or other substance abuse may occur)
  • Behavioral changes become obvious to others
  • Depersonalization (life becomes a series of mechanical functions)
  • Inner emptiness
  • Depression
  • Burnout syndrome

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