Exhaustion: Then and Now - GUNNAR

Exhaustion: A Modern Problem?

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An article published by The Week asserts that “modern burnout,” does not exist. Their method for supporting this idea is a review of historical diagnoses and approaches to exhaustion. If exhaustion has always existed, then surely our modern exhaustion simply stands as one among many.

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Historical Theories of Health and Exhaustion

The Greeks focused on balances of “humors” in the body, based on Hippocrates’ theory. These humors explained most illnesses, and particularly those with psychological effects. Depression, exhaustion, anxiety, and so on all found their cause in an unbalance of humors. This theory essentially looks at the effects of the whole body on each part of it. Such a holistic approach can be healthy, but does not always capture the problem.

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In the West, the theory of humors has been substantially discarded. In the eastern world, however, some still emphasize other holistic approaches, without the focus on “humors.” Diet, exercise, and overall bodily health all play into such theories of health. They subscribe such treatments for disorders like exhaustion.

Later, in the west, a focus on “nerves,” replaced the more holistic views. This view came from the teachings of psychologists and other scientists of the 19th and 20th centuries. The idea had to do with the relation of the nervous system mental health. The treatments for such diagnoses included various forms of therapy, including shock therapy.

Contemporary Views of the Issue

This theory eventually gave way to more contemporary views that “burn out,” or exhaustion was a modern phenomenon. The reason was our cosmopolitan lifestyle. Constantly connected, exposed to electricity, surrounded by cars and people. The nature of our world had changed such that our modern exhaustion, while comparable to the past, simply was not the same.

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The article essentially holds that exhaustion has always been the same, sources of it have indeed differed. Most fundamentally, understandings of exhaustion have shifted over time. The conclusion is that we still don’t know enough about exhaustion to adequately theorize a “solution,” such as those proposed in the past. Several treatments still exist, but exhaustion remains a universal problem, throughout history, and today.

Treating What We Can

While we cannot treat exhaustion universally, some causes of exhaustion are known, and need treatment. We’ve settled firmly into a new digital era. Exhaustion can no longer be seen as simply an emotional or psychological disorder. Rather, we must work with the knowledge we have about the effect of technology on us.

The majority of people in the developed world find themselves staring at screens more and more each day. The blue light from the screens negatively impacts sleep cycle, thus contributing to exhaustion generally. Digital eye strain is no joke, it’s very real. As more and more people are afflicted, it’s our goal to continue to help raise awareness.

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The modern problem of digital eye strain and its connection to exhaustion requires modern solutions. The bottom line: GUNNAR can help. Get more information today about digital eye strain. And don’t forget to protect your eyes when you are stuck looking at a screen. Check out our two latest styles of blue light blocking eyewear, Enigma and Havok.

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