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The WHO says ‘burnout’ is now an official medical condition with 3 warning signs

What to watch for

Photo by H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Getty Images

The World Health Organization has classified "burnout" as a clinical medical condition.

Wait, what is burnout?

As defined by the WHO, "burnout" is work related and is "a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed."

The WHO explains that burnout has three components: feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one's job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job; and reduced professional efficacy.

The organization warns that burnout "refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life."

Well. OK. Am I at risk for burnout?

According to Business Insider, physicians are at very high risk for experiencing burnout when compared to other American workers. Other high-stress professions are also at risk for experiencing burnout.

That doesn't necessarily mean that other American workers not in high-risk positions are exempt from experiencing burnout, however.

A CNN report explains that American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger coined the term "burnout" in 1974, and notes that severe cases of burnout often stem from depression.

So what are the 3 big things to look for?

  • Feeling exhausted, depleted, or otherwise completely worn down;
  • Increased mental and cognitive distance from your job, including feeling vastly negative and cynical about your job; and
  • A significantly reduced quality of work.

What are the risk factors for burnout?

According to Joe Robinson, a work-life balance trainer and speaker, there are six risk factors for burnout.

  • Work overload
  • Lack of control
  • Insufficient reward
  • Absence of fairness
  • Community
  • Conflicting values

The following video showcases the ins and outs of burnout

Burnout Is Now A Legitimate Diagnosis: Here Are The Symptoms And How To Treat It | TODAY www.youtube.com

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