Burnout is an official medical diagnosis, according to the WHO

Have you ever felt mentally or emotionally exhausted exhausted from work?

You are far from alone and you may be suffering from “burnout”, a disease now officially recognized by the community of health professionals.

Work-related stress, which has been unofficially mainstreamed in the cultural zeitgeist for years, has been officially recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) through a revision of the International Classification of Diseases – a manual for doctors and health insurers.

The official disease can be found in ICD-11 under “Problems related to employment or unemployment”.

According to the health agency, burnout is not just synonymous with stress. It is “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic stress at work that has not been successfully managed”.

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According to health guidelines, burnout is categorized by the following symptoms:

  1. Feelings of exhaustion or energy exhaustion
  2. Increased mental distance from work, or feelings of negativity or cynicism related to work
  3. Reduced professional efficiency

“Burnout specifically refers to phenomena in the work context,” said the WHO, “and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life”.

Americans are working longer and harder than ever, according to American Institute of Stress. Several studies show that stress at work is the number one source of anxiety for American adults and that mental illness has gradually worsened over the past decades.

A recent survey from Korn Ferry Research Organization reported that overall employee stress levels “have increased by almost 20% in three decades.” A 2018 study through work Wrike management platform found that 94 percent of workers experience stress in the office, and almost a third report their stress levels as high to unsustainable.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have looked at the effects of stress at work for years and offers scientific advice to manage the issues and problems related to pressure on construction sites.

The following factors can help reduce stress at work, according to the CDC:

  1. Balance between work and family or personal life
  2. A supportive network of friends and colleagues
  3. A relaxed and positive attitude

Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown.


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