The global syndrome of burnout was first discovered and studied by Herbert J. Freudenberger (1926–1999) - a German-born American psychologist.
Freudenberger was one of the first to describe the symptoms of exhaustion professionally and perform a comprehensive study of burnout. He also was the first to delve into the underlying roots of burnout and come up with proven methods to combat it.
During 1980, he published "Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement" which became a standard reference for the phenomenon. His most prestigious award was the American Psychological Foundation Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Practice of Psychology during 1999.
Although Freudenberger had many jobs during his life, including practitioner, editor, theoretician, and author, his most significant contribution is in the understanding and treatment of stress, chronic fatigue and substance abuse.
Dr, Herbert Freudenberger