Everyone knows the exhausting feeling of being burned out of work. Debilitating headache, mental fatigue, difficulty concentrating – it's an overwhelming feeling that's hard to shake. Therefore, in an updated version of the International Classification of Diseases (IPRP) reports, the World Health Organization has published new guidelines defining burnout as "chronic work-related stress that has not been successfully addressed". It also classifies burnout as a clinical syndrome and legitimizes it for the first time.
Previously, the WHO had defined burnout as a "state of vital fatigue," but the updated language is much more specific. According to the new definition, burnout has three aspects: fatigue and low energy levels, cynicism or "increased mental distance to one's own job" as well as reduced productivity and effectiveness in the workplace.
In addition, it is defined as a work-specific syndrome, regardless of experience or feelings outside the office. The WHO Guide not only advocates describing burnout as a disease, but also advises against eliminating anxiety, mood disorders, and other stress-related problems before diagnosing burnout.
Experts say the new language is a step in the right direction. Torsten Voigt, a sociologist at RWTH Aachen University in Germany who has been working on the subject, told NPR that the previous definition was "something weird in between" that you are not really sick but unable to do your job to do . & # 39; "
This update makes it clear that burnout is a serious issue:" People who experience burnout are finally considered serious problems, "he said.
Elaine Cheung, a professor of medical social science at Northwestern University, told the NPR that she was confident that the WHO update would show employers that they needed to step up their efforts to combat burnout Things like building a sense of community at work, allocating manageable workloads, and ensuring a healthy work-life balance for employees.
"I think many people have a clear definition of burnout," she says. But I think, highlighting the specific facets of Burnout, I hope it will be a greater consciousness can create. "