Feeling tired, overworked and overwhelmed? It's not just you — and the World Health Organization has an official diagnosis. The idea of "burnout" has been around for awhile, but it's just now been redefined as a syndrome.
Burnout, as described in the International Classification of Diseases, includes these symptoms:
1) Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
2) Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
3) Reduced professional efficacy
The diagnosis is listed in the handbook's section on issues related to employment or unemployment.
"Burnout refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life," says the International Classification of Diseases, which helps medical professionals in diagnoses.
The handbook also says doctors should rule out adjustment disorder, anxiety, mood disorders and stress disorders before diagnosing burnout.
Psychologist Herbert Freudenberger first described "burnout syndrome" in 1974, according to a 2017 review of literature in journal SAGE Open. The review found that studies relating to burnout have increased greatly since then, but that the term is still surrounded by debate regarding definition and symptoms.
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