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Why Finance Professionals Face Overwhelming Levels of Burnout and Stress

Workers in the finance industry face exceptionally high levels of burnout and stress. Left unaddressed, this feeling of professional burnout can quickly lead to the development of a mental health disorder, force people to step away from work, or simply find themselves experiencing a much lower quality of life.

While it may be difficult to avoid the stress of a job in finance, there are effective methods to help people break free from the intensely negative experience of professional burnout.

The Differences Between Stress, Burnout, and Anxiety

Professional burnout, stress, and anxiety are all interrelated challenges that affect countless workers in the finance industry. But to understand the differences, it’s first important to understand the effects and causes of each problem individually.


Stress is an unavoidable part of everyday life. Everybody experiences stress from time to time, and stress alone isn’t typically considered to be a mental health problem. But when you feel stressed constantly, sometimes referred to as chronic stress, it can lead to developing more serious challenges in your professional, home, and social life.

The symptoms of stress may include:

  • Feeling anxious or irritable
  • Being unable to enjoy yourself
  • Feeling nervous about meeting deadlines or meeting the demands of your employer
  • Worsening of pre-existing mental health problems
  • A constant feeling of dread or tension

Additionally, there can be physical symptoms of stress, including a feeling of fatigue, indigestion, or sleep difficulties.

Stress is caused by the demands and challenges of daily life. People can feel stress in response to a high level of job demands, navigating difficult social situations, worrying about financial security, or caring for a sick family member.

In small amounts, stress can be positive. It can motivate you to achieve your goals, to better your situation, and to excel in your career. But when you become overwhelmed with stress, it can quickly become crippling — leading to burnout or anxiety and preventing you from moving forward.


Professional burnout is often directly linked to stress. Burnout is associated with feelings of reduced professional efficiency, depletion, and exhaustion. Many people with burnout also feel negative or cynical about their work.

Burnout is typically caused by having more workplace stressors than you can manage from day to day. People who feel burnt out will often neglect important work responsibilities, start putting in less effort, and feel like they have exhausted their mental capacity to continue putting in effort in the workplace.

Part of the difficulty of burnout is that it is typically caused by overwhelming stress and responsibilities. These obligations don’t simply stop once someone starts to feel burnt out, and your ability to manage these tasks can start to suffer.

This can lead to people falling behind in the workplace, not getting the opportunity to rest and recover, and getting caught in a vicious cycle of worsening mental health symptoms.


Anxiety is a distinct mental health symptom that often results from stress or burnout. However, anxiety can happen independently from either and could be a contributing factor to the development of stress or burnout as well.

The symptoms of anxiety may include:

  • A feeling of worry or panic
  • Racing thoughts
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Chest pain
  • A sense of impending doom
  • Sweating
  • Hyperventilation

For some, the feeling of anxiety can lead to a panic attack, where the symptoms of anxiety become overwhelming and impossible to control. Due to the similar set of symptoms, people experiencing panic attacks may feel as though they are having heart attacks.

How Burnout Specifically Affects Professionals

Finance professionals face a unique set of challenges that make them experience burnout and stress at significantly higher rates. The factors listed below are focused on the finance industry, but they also affect:

  • Mental health in bankers
  • Mental health in lawyers
  • Mental health in healthcare providers

Some of the primary contributing factors of burnout, stress, and anxiety in these groups include:

Long Hours

Professionals in the finance sector regularly work well over 40 hours a week. It’s not uncommon for people early in their careers to report working 60, 70, or even 100 hours per week — leaving extremely limited time for people to engage in healthy and fulfilling activities outside of work hours.

The finance industry is notorious for poor work-life balance. Not having enough time to pursue hobbies or activities outside of work can be incredibly stressful and leave people feeling disenchanted with their choice of work.

High Pressure

The high-pressure environment of the finance sector is another common contributing factor to professional burnout and plays a key role in why so many finance professionals work so much. Financial reports are often due on very tight deadlines, people can have clients in a dozen different time zones, and supervisors often set high targets.

Often, meeting these demands requires people to work at or beyond their personal limits. And while people can take on a high workload for shorter periods, it often isn’t sustainable in the long run.

Performance-Based Compensation

Bonuses for meeting targets and commissions on deals are common in the finance industry, and they may make up a significant portion of someone’s potential earnings. This adds to the pressure placed on finance professionals and directly ties earnings to working more, taking more on, and spending more hours at the office.

This can be compounded when people are reliant on the extra income from performance-based compensation. If someone is unable to keep up with their bills or personal financial goals on their salary alone, it can lead to intense anxiety and stress about performing at a high enough level at work.


Financial markets are often volatile. Markets can change dramatically in response to global events or investor sentiment, which directly impacts the work and earnings of financial professionals.

This volatility can often lead to a perpetual state of anxiety for finance workers. With everything being liable to shift dramatically on a day-to-day basis, many financial professionals feel uncertain about their success from one day to the next.

Limited Autonomy

Financial institutions are extremely hierarchical. Junior professionals are often at the whims of their superiors or clients and have little autonomy in their professional lives. When people feel as though they aren’t involved in the decision-making process, it can be easy to become frustrated and worn down by work.

Not having an amicable relationship with a supervisor can highlight a worker’s limited autonomy and quickly contribute to feelings of stress and burnout.

How to Recover From Burnout

If you’re starting to feel the pangs of burnout, it’s vital to take quick action before the problem gets worse. There are several different ways that you can deal with burnout symptoms, but not every option always works for everyone.

There are three main approaches to dealing with burnout:

  1. Reducing Stressors: taking time off work, taking on fewer projects, or delegating responsibilities to others
  2. Building Capacity for Stress: engaging in regular exercise, making lifestyle changes, or starting a mindfulness practice
  3. Dealing With Underlying Mental Health Concerns: seeking out professional treatment for stress, anxiety, or burnout

Each of these options is viable and can help people begin to gain control over their mental health. In some cases, it takes all three methods to overcome burnout once and for all.

Traditional Treatment Options for Burnout, Stress, and Anxiety

Professional treatment for burnout, stress, and anxiety has typically been accomplished through talk therapy or medication management. Both of these methods have proven themselves to be highly effective at helping people work through the challenges of burnout.

While multiple forms of talk therapy have been developed, they all typically help by teaching people to identify the exact source of their struggles, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and learn how to manage stress and anxiety better in the future. This includes anxiety therapy, burnout treatment, stress treatment, and much more.

Medication management can complement this approach, providing people with effective mental health medications to treat underlying conditions. Medication management is done under the careful supervision of a psychiatrist, who can track patients’ progress over time and make adjustments to their medications as needed.

How APN London Goes Further

At APN London, our team integrates the best in conventional treatments with cutting-edge interventions that provide new and exciting methods to help treat common mental health conditions. Some of the innovative treatment options at APN London include:

Lifestyle Psychiatry

Lifestyle psychiatry is a combination of traditional medication management with targeted lifestyle changes. Decades of scientific evidence have shown substantial benefits in mental health following changes in:

  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Sleep
  • Stress management

As impactful as these lifestyle changes can be, it’s often difficult for people to start or maintain these changes without professional assistance.

Starting a lifestyle psychiatry program helps people decide what lifestyle changes are needed and how to build and maintain the motivation for recovery. Lifestyle psychiatry still affords patients access to specialised psychiatric treatment.

Ketamine-Assisted Healing

Ketamine has rapidly risen to prominence as an effective tool in the treatment of many common mental health conditions. Ketamine is a dissociative psychedelic and works as a therapy incubator. A single ketamine-assisted healing session can lead to rapid personal breakthroughs and insight, and it can create fast and impactful mental health improvements.

The ketamine-assisted healing session itself closely parallels an individual therapy session. After taking a dose of ketamine, a patient sits with a specially trained clinician who guides them through the ketamine experience, helps them look at the underlying causes of burnout, stress, or anxiety, and drives them towards their personal recovery goals.

While most people experience significant improvements after just a single session, repeated sessions can further cement the progress.

Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) is an exciting new intervention for people experiencing stress or burnout as the result of an underlying mental health condition. In most mental health disorders, certain regions of the brain become underactive. By targeting those regions directly, people can see massive symptom relief.

dTMS directly stimulates underactive brain regions using a specialised cap equipped with electromagnets, which send targeted impulses to increase brain activity. This leads to rapid improvement in mental health symptoms, which can last for years after repeated treatments.

Start Treatment at APN London

Whether you’re looking for stress treatment, burnout therapy, or anxiety treatment options, the team at APN London has everything you need to maximise your chances of treatment success. Our comprehensive mental health treatment centre combines the best in conventional and innovative options to ensure there’s no path left untravelled in your journey towards holistic mental health.

To get started with professional treatment options, reach out to our team by calling 0203 984 7699 or by sending an inquiry on our confidential online contact form. We are ready to welcome you and begin guiding you towards the treatment options that are best for your needs.


  • “Dealing with Stress.” NHS Choices, NHS, Accessed 10 Mar. 2024.
  • Nascimento, Jamie. “Burnout Mounts as a Third of Banking and Financial Services Plan to Leave the Industry Due to High Pressure.” LemonEdge, LemonEdge, 30 Aug. 2023,