Books & Literature

Book Review: Burnout, by Gordon Parker, Gabriella Tavella and Kerrie Eyers

SELF-HELP: Are you always exhausted? Unable to feel for others or for life’s pleasures? Find it hard to concentrate and take in what you read? You may have burnout.

A powerful guide to understanding, preventing and recovering from burnout.
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If the last two years has taught humanity anything, it is how badly we have neglected the study of mental health. Certainly our knowledge and understanding of this important area has improved in the last two decades but we are still learning so much about the brain and how it is affected by the world around us. Depression and anxiety are now a common diagnosis for people suffering from the long-term psychological effects of trauma and hardship. But what if you are, in fact, NOT suffering from either of these two—but rather you are suffering from burnout?

This is the question posed by Professor Gordon Parker, research officer Gabriella Tavella and psychologist Kerrie Eyers. This book goes to great lengths to unpack what “burnout” means, how to identify it and how to recover from it. It is a fascinating study on the modern world and how we are working our brains so hard that it basically has little chance to recover. It shines a light on an important part of making our world function better: strong mental agility.

The first part of the book outlines the meaning of “burnout” and how it has typically been depicted versus what it actually is. It also weighs up the difference between burnout and depression (one of the more important parts of this book).

As the book moves forward it goes into the leading causes of burnout and focusses on how toxic workplaces and high risk occupations (such as caregivers) can bring burnout out in people. This section will resonate with many readers as they emerge from the pandemic and head back into their regular work environment. It may even cause some readers to reconsider what their job is actually doing to them.

The final section offers hope with solutions for both sufferers and those around them. It provides solid remedies for managers and employers of businesses to encourage them to create happier and healthier workplace environments.

At all times, the authors write in a wonderfully simple tone without showing any level of condescension to their audience. This book is rarely dull and there is much to be gained from within its 230 pages. The authors’ message is simple: burnout is a thing and we need to recognise it and treat it accordingly.

Whilst there will undoubtedly be more written on the subject—and it is always advisable to seek professional help if you are genuinely concerned—this is an amazing read that will open the eyes to the world of burnout and show the path out of what is one of the more problematic and prominent of mental health issues facing our society in a post-COVID world.   

Reviewed by Rodney Hrvatin
Twitter: @Wagnerfan74

Published by: Allen & Unwin
Released: July 2021
RRP: $32.99

This review is the opinion of the reviewer and not Glam Adelaide.

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