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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 33297
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
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I think my partner has occupational burnout, but she has blocked

Resolved Question:

I think my partner has occupational burnout, but she has blocked me and everything work related. She has left and has moved to her mums and won't talk to anyone who really knows her.

What is the best thing I can do for her?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
Hi. Can you tell me more about this? How long has she had the problem and was she basically fine before it started?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
5 weeks ago she was told by her gp it sounded like she was burned out and that she should take time off and go back to the doctor after a week, she took one week off and the work would not leave her alone, then she went straight back to work. there has been a gradual decline in her wanting to go out on the weekend and has become increasingly irritable over the past six months as things have got harder, she is working 12 hour days covering all staff sickness, she is the manager of a children nursery at a young age, any mention of the time she spends at work and lack of work / life balance causes big arguments between us, she has many symptoms , tiredness, insomnia, cramps and has been given medication by her go for IBS. We have no financial problems and have a great life, I am quite a successful person and own three ltd companies and am prepared to marry her, so you can see this has been quite hard for me to understand why she is shutting out every one close to her and continuing to work, she has just made her life a lot harder by leaving as she has to rely on 3 hours of bus travel a day and can only think about selling her things to get to work.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
I see. So has she seen her doctor a second time?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
No she has not returned to the doctor says she is ok, 2 weeks ago told me she could not cope, then said she's ok, and any mention of doctors or work hours causes arguments to the point where she has now left.Now she has argued with her mother, who she is not very close to, and her mother can not understand why, I am waiting to discuss this with her mother directly, I can speak to her mother freely, she understands what I have said so far and knows I am only concerned for her daughters well being.On top of all the work and problems Hayley has dealt with due to child care related issues, she has also been trying down a child care course and rejects any suggestion that all this to much for her.Please note we have no children the children I refer to are work related. Please note she spends her weekend and evenings doing her degree course work, when she is not thinking about problems at work.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
OK Richard. So, right now she won't see you and talk to you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
She has spoke to me a little, but I did not know how to approach this with out causing more problems, I have just assured her that I am here, not going anywhere, waiting to lift the load from her and even support her fully financially if needed, but she says she can not see a future, though she has said she loves me for who I am and is proud of me just two days ago, she can not see a future all she has is work, and that is all she has said. I have not been in daily contact the past 2 days as I do not want to mess up any chances I might have left to get through to her.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
My mother may be able to speak with someone who Hayley looks up to at work who may be able to help.

I have prepared a heart felt letter or text that could help her see what is going on, I have spent two days researching occupational burnout and can see how this may have effected us, I think if I can find the right moment I can get through to her, but at the same time don't want to make it worse for her.

She has no other real friends or people that really know her outside of her work, I am her only real friend.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
OK Richard. Sounds like she's gotten into a significant depressive state and she may have been fighting it for some time now. It may get to the point where she won't leave the house and may only stay in a room and sleep most of the day. The biggest problem sometimes in a situation like this is that the patient won't admit how bad things have gotten and refuses to get any help for it, even from people very close to them. You've done a great job of letting her know how supportive and caring you are but you really can't force the issue. I think you ought to let her doctor know what's going on and hopefully he can get her in for an office visit. Sounds like for now she needs and antidepressant and to be scheduled for counseling if she'll agree to all that. If not, she may still snap out of this but you've done all you can to let her know you're there for her, so you need to hold tight and not do anything more than perhaps talk to her from time to time
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