Mental tiredness: what is it and what are the symptoms? See how to treat

The feeling of mental tiredness is very common, especially in the modern society in which we live, considering that we are constantly exposed to stimuli and different activities. However, it is not normal for this symptom to become frequent.

Thinking about the importance of this issue, we have separated more information for you regarding how to identify this mental exhaustion and what are the ways to prevent it from occurring:

Index – in this article you will find:

  1. What is mental tiredness?
  2. What are the symptoms of mental tiredness?
  3. How do I know if I have mental tiredness?
  4. What’s worse: physical or mental tiredness?
  5. Treatment and options to end mental tiredness

What is mental tiredness?

Mental tiredness is characterized by the feeling that the brain is overloaded with information. In the same way that the physical body gets tired when making a lot of effort, the brain can also be exhausted when we make a lot of mental effort.

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Mental tiredness is characterized by a series of symptoms, but the main sign is the feeling that the brain is overloaded.

With this, some mental and even physical consequences can arise, such as an extreme difficulty in maintaining concentration, reasoning and solving problems, as well as memory lapses, insomnia , body and head pain, among others.

Also called burnout or mental exhaustion, mental fatigue arises due to several factors, such as: overwork, lack of sleep, poor sleep, lack of rest, dietary imbalances, hormonal imbalances, stress prolonged ( adrenal fatigue ), drug side effects, etc.

Still, another factor that can trigger this sensation are mental disorders, such as depression , anxiety , among others. This, especially when the diagnosis has not yet been made and therefore the person is not treating the problem.

In general, mental tiredness considered healthy is one that occurs after long periods of intellectual stimulation, such as spending hours studying for an important exam, or working for many hours straight without taking breaks for rest.

However, when it becomes a constant situation, it becomes a real problem, and may even need specialized care to be solved. In such cases, physical and mental consequences are not uncommon.

Mental tiredness can contribute to the emergence of disorders such as Burnout Syndrome or even depression, for example. Still, in extreme cases, the person may start the day already feeling this mental tiredness, and may also show discouragement, demotivation and a sense of meaninglessness in life.

It is worth remembering that the brain consumes about 20% of the energy that our body spends during the day, so it is clear that mental effort is able to drain all of our energy if it is carried out in excess.

What are the symptoms of mental tiredness?

When the person has a mental exhaustion condition, he may have different symptoms, some of the most common are:

  • Discouragement;
  • Excessive tiredness;
  • Insomnia;
  • Drowsiness during most of the day;
  • Concentration difficulties;
  • Memory loss;
  • Mood changes;
  • Irritability;
  • Anguish;
  • Sadness;
  • Difficulty in establishing priorities;
  • Decreased libido;
  • Feeling of emptiness or meaninglessness in life and routine.

How do I know if I have mental tiredness?

The main way to know if your tiredness is normal tiredness or mental exhaustion is to understand how long it lasts and what consequences it brings .

For example, if you wake up tired, wanting to go home before you even leave for work, this tiredness is certainly not normal and you may be suffering from mental exhaustion.

Above-normal irritability is also a very strong sign of mental tiredness. If you feel that you are irritated by small things, such as the small inconveniences of everyday life, you may be mentally tired.

Still, memory lapses are also one of the most striking signs of this type of picture. Without being able to maintain your concentration properly, it is common to end up forgetting where you put the keys, the times that a particular appointment had been scheduled, among other similar lapses of memory.

A factor that may end up being overlooked but that is also common in cases of mental tiredness is the lack of libido, even when meeting the partner. The person who is mentally exhausted has so much on his mind at the same time that he often cannot disconnect from it and finds it difficult to have intimate moments.

These are some of the signs that you can watch for to see if you are suffering from mental tiredness. If you notice any of them, remember to take breaks during the day and cool off!

What’s worse: physical or mental tiredness?

It is not possible to say that one type of tiredness is worse than the other, as both have negative consequences for the body .

Everyone knows that physical exhaustion is extremely debilitating and that, many times, the person needs to rest for a long time to be able to recover energy. So it can appear to be worse than mental tiredness.

However, mental tiredness can also be physically debilitating . This is because it influences immunity, as well as favors the appearance of problems such as body pain, headache , hypertension, hair loss, menstrual changes and gastrointestinal problems (such as gastritis , ulcers, reflux).

In addition, since immunity may be lowered in cases of mental exhaustion, the person is more susceptible to viral and bacterial infections, as well as allergies, and it may also take longer to recover from possible illnesses and wounds, for example. example.

So it is not a question of which type of tiredness is worse, but rather that both types are equally debilitating and mean the same thing: it’s time to rest!

Treatment and options to end mental tiredness

Mental tiredness does not have a specific treatment because it is not considered a mental disorder. However, some tips you can follow to avoid it are:

Organize responsibilities

Much of the mental fatigue arises in relation to the responsibilities we have on a daily basis: work, studies, taking care of the home, among others.

Therefore, being able to organize responsibilities, ordering priorities and avoiding the accumulation of tasks is a valuable tip to prevent mental fatigue!

You can look for forms of organization that make the most sense to you, and you can have notes in an agenda or on a task board, for example. Or, you can also choose virtual tools (websites and applications) to do this.

Maintain a balanced diet

Sometimes, mental fatigue can be caused by a lack of energy from inadequate nutrition. Especially when there is a lack of nutrients, which can favor the feeling of exhaustion, since the body is not working at its best.

Therefore, a tip is to eat in a balanced way, eating adequate amounts of proteins , carbohydrates , vitamins and minerals daily!

Do physical activity

As contradictory as it may seem, physical activity helps to have more energy and keep motivation for longer. In addition, the practice of exercises can help to combat the symptoms of anxiety and depression – which, many times, favor burnout.

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Even simple activities like walking can be beneficial in easing mental exhaustion.

Therefore, doing activities that keep the body in motion, prioritizing an adequate frequency (3 to 4 times a week), can be a great alternative to avoid mental exhaustion.

Good sleep routine

Establishing good sleep patterns also improves sleep quality and can help combat mental fatigue. A tip is to try to sleep and wake up at fixed times, keeping a minimum of 7 hours sleep per night.

As mentioned, mental tiredness also makes rest necessary, even in cases of physical exhaustion.

Avoid taking work home

If you work in an office, for example, avoid taking your work home. After hitting the time card, disconnect your mind from work problems and try to be distracted by other day-to-day experiences.

If you work from home as a self-employed person, an alternative is to try to set fixed hours to work and avoid extending the hours beyond what is necessary.

Time for self-care

Taking care of yourself is important at any stage of life and combats a number of problems, such as stress and mental exhaustion.

Taking the time to do things you love, admire the small pleasures of life, or maintain a hobby of your own is of utmost importance in maintaining balanced mental health .

Disconnect from the internet

The internet is a great tool to keep in touch with friends and family, have fun in moments of leisure and follow the news daily.

However, it can also cause an excess of stimuli and a need to be available and accessible at all times, which can overwhelm anyone’s mind.

So, take moments out of the day to disconnect from the internet. Try to turn off notifications from other applications on your cell phone to resist the urge to answer whenever the device vibrates, avoiding this excess stimulus.

This is important, even when you are watching or doing another leisure activity.

Avoid unnecessary charges

Often, in our day-to-day lives, we always want to do the best: be it at work, in studies or even at home, during our hobbies or other activities.

This is not necessarily a problem, but it is necessary to measure self-collection very well . Sometimes, perfectionism can be our biggest enemy, making us charge more and more of ourselves, to the point of really wearing us out mentally.

Therefore, practice accepting the results and always seek to improve, but without charging yourself too much or in unnecessary aspects!

Avoid alcohol and other substances

Some people like to have a glass of wine in the evening to relax, or have a few beers over the weekend to let go of the stress of the week.

The problem is that alcohol (and other psychoactive substances) can impair the quality of sleep, causing the person to be the opposite of relaxed.

When sleeping bad nights of sleep, mental tiredness can even increase, as there is no real rest. Therefore, if you are already experiencing this exhaustion, avoid trying to seek a “relief” in these substances, as it can make the problem worse.

Seek professional help and get therapy

When the case is very extreme, some of the tips above may not work, and it ‘s time to seek professional help .

A psychiatrist will be able to assess your condition and diagnose possible underlying disorders, such as depression or anxiety, which may be worsening mental exhaustion.

A psychologist can follow up on the case, teaching techniques and helping to solve day-to-day problems, in order to reduce exposure to stress and improve tiredness.


Taking care of well-being and mental health is very important. So, if you want to know more about this subject and see more content like this, just access the “ Mental Health ” tab here of Hickey solution and keep an eye out to not miss anything!

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