Work burnout now considered a Syndrome by W.H.O.

National

(CBS) — The World Health Organization is now classifying *burnout* as “a syndrome.” The agency says this results from “chronic workplace stress that has *not* been successfully managed.”

From CBS reporter Carolyn Cakir:

 “So I think we can all relate, I know I certainly felt when I was an intern that that was a time of almost feeling burned out, and it’s difficult. 

It’s a catchy word that we throw around, but when you look at the literature, actually the first publications of “burnout” were in the 1970s, and they made a classification system for it in the 1980s, but it’s taken 40 years for us to really elevate the description, and the World Health Organization is saying a couple of things. 

First of all, it’s not a medical condition. It’s an occupational phenomenon. It can lead to other issues. You have to rule out things like anxiety disorders, or mood disorders, or stress-related disorders before you diagnose it, and there are really three criteria. So, if you’re feeling exhausted, really a depletion in your energy, that’s the first thing. 

The second thing is that you have a mental disconnectedness or detachment from your job; you’re very negative or cynical about your job. 

Then the third thing is that you just feel that you’re not professionally efficacious. So, those three things, that’s really the definition or diagnosis.

They just said that this could apply to any career, but there are certain professions, so people-oriented professions, things like teachers, social workers, medical professionals, police, paramedics, where there’s really this intense time of emotional and personal contact- high, high demands and a lack of resources in a lot of instances. 

Researchers in this field have identified essentially six things: That if there’s a mismatch between you and your job in one of these six areas then that could lead to burnout. 

Those six areas are:

  • Workload
  • Control
  • Reward
  • Community 
  • Fairness
  • Values
     

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