WHO classifies ‘burnout’ as an occupational phenomenon

  • Burnout is only to be used in the context of work
  • Burnout is not a disease, but an occupational phenomenon

Burnout is described as the state of emotional and physical exhaustion caused by a prolonged period of stress and frustration; an inevitable corporate condition characterized by frequent displays of unprofessional behavior and the refusal to do any work.

Health experts and professionals have long debated whether or not burnout is a medical condition and what would be its real definition.

During the World Health Assembly in Geneva on Tuesday, ‘burnout’ has been put in the category of International Classification of Diseases (ICD) by the World Health Organization.

Burnout is “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed” as defined by the World Health Organization.

Burnout is characterized by 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.

Furthermore, burnout can only be described in the occupational setting, not in other aspects of life.

The ICD-11 received experts’ recommendations and these were approved on Saturday. This is to take effect in 2022, which includes “compulsive sexual behavior” as a mental disorder, and video gaming as an addiction.

It has since removed transgenderism from the mental disorder category.

Written by Charles Teves

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