What is burnout?

Many professionals use stress and adrenaline to their advantage, however for some the strain causes mental and physical exhaustion – also known as burnout.

Burnout can affect anyone, however people with perfectionist and controlling tendencies who work in stressful business environments are most likely to be affected.

What are the symptoms of executive burnout?

  • Irritability & impatience at work
  • Lack of energy
  • Low self-esteem at work
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Insomnia and ‘racing brain’ at night
  • Overeating or undereating
  • Minor physical symptoms such as headaches, regular colds, indigestion
  • Reliance on alcohol or drugs to get through the day.


Some professionals who experience stress and burnout begin to self-medicate – using alcohol or drugs such as cocaine to enhance their performance and alertness.


Cocaine use is rising among professionals in the City of London. Cocaine temporarily increases mental alertness and energy, but it is a highly addictive drug and increased amounts are needed to achieve the desired results. Long term cocaine abuse leads to decreased concentration, decreased memory and affects judgement and decision-making abilities.


Alcohol is often used by workers during the evening, to unwind after a day’s work. However a person can become reliant on increasing amounts of alcohol to relax and help deal with social and business situations. This may lead to drinking during lunch or before meetings and eventually can lead to addiction.

Finding help

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has published a detailed online guide for coping with work-related stress.

When stress leads to addiction it is important that senior management find a suitable treatment programme as soon as possible. Early detection and intensive treatment will rescue the investment made in a highly trained and skilled employee and save companies money in the long run.

The medical and therapeutic team at Castle Craig has the expertise of treating not only alcohol and drug addictions but other co-occuring disorders such as stress, anxiety, burnout and depression. Castle Craig is based near Edinburgh in 50 acres of private parkland enabling us to guarantee a tranquil and confidential environment.