“Job Burnout”: A Real Disease, Or Just An Excuse?

Scientists now recognize job burnout as a legitimate medical condition. File photo, public domain image.

Shamil Shams, May 27, 2019

DW.com – The World Health Organization for the first time put burnout on its ICD, or International Classification of Diseases, a list which is used globally as a benchmark for health diagnosis.

The international body reached the decision to categorize burnout as a medical condition during its recently concluded World Health Assembly in Geneva.

Following recommendations from health experts around the world, the updated ICD list was drafted in 2018 and was approved on Saturday.

The WHO has now classified burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”

Stress management at work

The global health organization said the burnout syndrome is characterized by three dimensions:

1) feelings of energy depletion or exhaustionHow To Tell An Alcoholic Co-worker By Their Body Language

2) increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and

3) reduced professional efficacy.” Read more. 

WHO recognizes ‘burn-out’ as a medical condition

Medical Xpress – … “Burn-out refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life,” according to the classification.

“This is the first time” burnout has been included in the classification, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told reporters.

The ICD-11, which is to take effect in January 2022, contains several other additions, including classification of “compulsive sexual behavior” as a mental disorder, although it stops short of lumping the condition together with addictive behaviors.

It does however for the first time recognize video gaming as an addiction, listing it alongside gambling and drugs like cocaine.

The updated list removes transgenderism from its list of mental disorders meanwhile, listing it instead under the chapter on “conditions related to sexual health”. Read more. 

OUR VIEW: Every time medical professionals recognize a ‘new’ disease, they create a new revenue stream for the treatment of that disease. Except in cases of severe trauma or an imbalance in hormones or other brain chemicals, stress, anxiety, and depression are largely self-induced conditions. We call b.s. on “job burnout” as a disease. – Ed.

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