Burnout is an official medical diagnosis, according to the World Health Organization


It’s a feeling of extreme work stress that has long been embedded in the cultural lexicon, and now it could be codified in your medical records as well.

Burnout is now a legitimate medical diagnosis, according to the International Classification of Diseases, or ICD-11, the World Health Organization manual that guides medical providers in diagnosing disease.

Burnout now appears in the ICD-11 section on problems related to employment or unemployment. According to the manual, doctors can diagnose a person with burnout if they have the following symptoms:

1. feelings of exhaustion or energy exhaustion

2.an increased mental distance from his work, or feelings of negativity or cynicism related to his work

3.reduced professional efficiency

Before making the call, the document says doctors must first rule out adjustment disorders as well as anxiety and mood disorders. And the diagnosis is limited to work environments, and should not be applied to other life situations.

Burnout has long been a vague cultural concept that has defied attempts to create a specific consensus definition on which scientists can all agree.

Psychologist Herbert Freudenberger is credited with pioneering the formal study of the state of burnout with a scientific article published in 1974, according to a 2017 literature review published in the journal SAGE Open.

The authors of this review, Linda and Torsten Heinemann, say that over the next four decades, hundreds of studies emerged on the subject. During this period, they noted that burnout was not considered a true mental disorder, even though it is “one of the most discussed mental health issues in society. today”.

One of the reasons for this, the Heinemanns argue, is that much of the research on burnout has focused on “causes and associated factors”, rather than attempts to develop diagnostic criteria. specific. This has led to “the vagueness and ambiguity” around the concept of burnout.

In their review, they note that whether researchers could differentiate between depression and burnout was also a major obstacle to elevating burnout to the rank of illness.

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