By ianfielder, Jun 3 2019 06:34AM
Although still not classified as a recognised medical condition, burnout has been included in the World Health Organization’s 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as an occupational phenomenon. It is described in the chapter: ‘Factors influencing health status or contact with health services’ – which includes reasons for which people contact health services but that are not classed as illnesses or health conditions.
Burnout is defined in ICD-11 as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
It is identifiable by three characteristics, claims the WHO:
feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion or increased mental distance from one’s job
feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
reduced professional efficacy
Burnout refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life, according to the WHO in ICD11.
The World Health Organization has also announced that is to embark on the development of evidence-based guidelines on mental wellbeing in the workplace.
If constant stress has you feeling helpless, disillusioned, and completely exhausted, you may be on the road to burnout. When you’re burned out, problems seem insurmountable, everything looks bleak, and it’s difficult to muster up the energy to care, let alone take action to help yourself. The unhappiness and detachment caused by burnout can threaten your job, your relationships, and your health. But by recognizing the earliest warning signs, you can take steps to prevent it. Or if you’ve already hit breaking point, there are plenty of things you can do to regain your balance and start to feel positive and hopeful again.
Whether you recognize the warning signs of impending burnout or you’re already past the breaking point, trying to push through the exhaustion and continuing as you have been will only cause further emotional and physical damage. Now is the time to pause and change direction by learning how you can help yourself overcome burnout and feel healthy and positive again.
Dealing with burnout requires the “Three R” approach:
Recognize – Watch for the warning signs of burnout
Reverse – Undo the damage by seeking support and managing stress
Resilience – Build your resilience to stress by taking care of your physical and emotional health