Signs that you are experiencing mental exhaustion and its potential causes

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Mental exhaustion is a widespread and underestimated condition that impacts millions of individuals around the world.

It’s much more than simply feeling tired. It’s a condition of absolute mental fatigue that can have intense repercussions on your overall well-being.


What is mental exhaustion?

Remember that you experience mental exhaustion over time. (Image via Unsplash/Jen Theodore)<img class="lazy-img" width="1920" height="1280" data-img="https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/da91f-16960981275533-1920.jpg" alt="Remember that you experience mental exhaustion over time. (Image via Unsplash/Jen Theodore)" data-img-low="https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/da91f-16960981275533-1920.jpg?w=840" src="data:image/svg+xml,” srcset=”https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/da91f-16960981275533-1920.jpg?w=190 190w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/da91f-16960981275533-1920.jpg?w=720 720w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/da91f-16960981275533-1920.jpg?w=840 840w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/da91f-16960981275533-1920.jpg?w=1045 1045w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/da91f-16960981275533-1920.jpg?w=1200 1200w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/da91f-16960981275533-1920.jpg?w=1460 1460w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/da91f-16960981275533-1920.jpg?w=1600 1600w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/da91f-16960981275533-1920.jpg 1920w”>
Remember that you experience mental exhaustion over time. (Image via Unsplash/Jen Theodore)

Mental exhaustion, also referred to as mental fatigue, is a condition in which people’s cognitive resources are lowered to the state where they’re incapable of functioning optimally.

It’s similar to running on an empty tank, and no matter how much rest you take, your mental energy doesn’t completely recover. This issue can impact almost anyone, from parents and caregivers to students and professionals.


What causes mental exhaustion?

You can find the causes of exhaustion in your everyday life. (Image via Unsplash/Maria Lysenko)<img class="lazy-img" width="1920" height="1280" data-img="https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/aaa25-16960984487905-1920.jpg" alt="You can find the causes of exhaustion in your everyday life. (Image via Unsplash/Maria Lysenko)" data-img-low="https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/aaa25-16960984487905-1920.jpg?w=840" src="data:image/svg+xml,” srcset=”https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/aaa25-16960984487905-1920.jpg?w=190 190w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/aaa25-16960984487905-1920.jpg?w=720 720w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/aaa25-16960984487905-1920.jpg?w=840 840w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/aaa25-16960984487905-1920.jpg?w=1045 1045w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/aaa25-16960984487905-1920.jpg?w=1200 1200w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/aaa25-16960984487905-1920.jpg?w=1460 1460w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/aaa25-16960984487905-1920.jpg?w=1600 1600w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/aaa25-16960984487905-1920.jpg 1920w”>
You can find the causes of exhaustion in your everyday life. (Image via Unsplash/Maria Lysenko)

The causes of mental fatigue are much more common than you can imagine. We’re constantly experience complex problems and stressors.

Think about your mental battery. If you don’t find time to recharge it, it gets exhausted. AAt the end of the day, you’re left drained and have to continue moving with the same battery.

Most people who experience burnout syndrome report difficulties in establish work-life boundaries. When your work follows you home and affter, you may naturally have no energy left to cope. That’s especially true if your sleep is being impacted.

The society has certain standards for being productive, and we also set very harsh internal rules. This unhealthy perfectionism can significantly impact how we feel at the end of the day.

Irrespective of what you do and achieve in the day, you will always feel like you are not doing good enough.


What are the common signs of mental exhaustion?

How do you know that you're drained? (Image via Unsplash/Priscilla Du Preez)<img class="lazy-img" width="1920" height="1275" data-img="https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/7f27d-16960985641447-1920.jpg" alt="How do you know that you're drained? (Image via Unsplash/Priscilla Du Preez)" data-img-low="https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/7f27d-16960985641447-1920.jpg?w=840" src="data:image/svg+xml,” srcset=”https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/7f27d-16960985641447-1920.jpg?w=190 190w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/7f27d-16960985641447-1920.jpg?w=720 720w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/7f27d-16960985641447-1920.jpg?w=840 840w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/7f27d-16960985641447-1920.jpg?w=1045 1045w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/7f27d-16960985641447-1920.jpg?w=1200 1200w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/7f27d-16960985641447-1920.jpg?w=1460 1460w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/7f27d-16960985641447-1920.jpg?w=1600 1600w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/09/7f27d-16960985641447-1920.jpg 1920w”>
How do you know that you’re drained? (Image via Unsplash/Priscilla Du Preez)

Feeling constantly fatigued, even after sufficient rest, is a usual sign of mental exhaustion.

Difficulty in paying attention on tasks, decision making or recalling things are other signs of mental exhaustion. You might find yourself being impatient, frustrated, or agitated over small situations.

It can easily manifest itself physically, developing into muscle tension, headaches and also digestive issues. A decline of involvement in activities you once found engaging or a reduced sense of purpose may also demonstrate exhaustion.

Individuals going through mental fatigue frequently withdraw from social connections and step into social isolation.


How is mental tiredness diagnosed?

How is this condition diagnosed? (Image via Unsplash/Raychan)<img class="lazy-img" width="1920" height="1278" data-img="https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/10/4d59b-16960990223531-1920.jpg" alt="How is this condition diagnosed? (Image via Unsplash/Raychan)" data-img-low="https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/10/4d59b-16960990223531-1920.jpg?w=840" src="data:image/svg+xml,” srcset=”https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/10/4d59b-16960990223531-1920.jpg?w=190 190w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/10/4d59b-16960990223531-1920.jpg?w=720 720w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/10/4d59b-16960990223531-1920.jpg?w=840 840w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/10/4d59b-16960990223531-1920.jpg?w=1045 1045w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/10/4d59b-16960990223531-1920.jpg?w=1200 1200w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/10/4d59b-16960990223531-1920.jpg?w=1460 1460w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/10/4d59b-16960990223531-1920.jpg?w=1600 1600w, https://staticg.sportskeeda.com/editor/2023/10/4d59b-16960990223531-1920.jpg 1920w”>
How is this condition diagnosed? (Image via Unsplash/Raychan)

Diagnosis usually involves a clinical assessment by a mental health expert. Unlike blood tests and body scans, there isn’t a particular medical test. Rather, the diagnosis depends on a comprehensive evaluation of an individual’s signs, medical history and lifestyle choices.

An expert will eye for symptoms like prolonged fatigue, damaged cognitive function, emotional turmoils and behavioral alterations. It’s vital for people to convey their experiences honestly at the time of assessment to receive correct diagnosis.

Moreover, ruling out underlying issues, like anxiety disorders or depression, can be part of the diagnostic procedure. Even without a diagnosis, you can learn to navigate emotional and mental distress with a mental health professional.


Identifying the symptoms and knowing the underlying cause is the initial step in preventing and addressing this issue.

Keep in mind, mental exhaustion isn’t a weakness but a sign that your mind requires a break and a lot of care. Take your own time to recharge, and you will be greatly equipped to face life’s challenging situations with resilience.


Janvi Kapur is a counselor with a Master’s degree in applied psychology with a specialization in clinical psychology.


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Edited by Bhargav
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