Work-Sanctioned Naptime

So Tired: Doctors Can Now Diagnose You With Burnout

The World Health Organization finally recognized work-related exhaustion.

5. 29. 19 / Dan Robitzski
Pxhere/Victor Tangermann
Image by Pxhere/Victor Tangermann

So Tired

Big news: work-related burnout is now a medical condition recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO).

In the recently-released 11th edition of the WHO’s handbook — the “International Classification of Diseases — burnout is formally designated as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” Recognition of the disorder could lend authority to complaints of workplace stress that have been reported and studied for decades.

Personal Day

Psychologists first started studying burnout back in 1974, according to CNN, and hundreds of studies have popped up since.

CNN cites a scientific review published in the journal SAGE that points out how the condition is “one of the most widely discussed mental health problems in today’s society” but was never officially classified as a mental disorder or condition because scientists never worked to develop diagnostic criteria.


New Criteria

Now, the WHO has formally linked burnout to feelings of exhaustion, mental distance from one’s job, and lessened workplace productivity.

The WHO also notes that before making a diagnosis, doctors should rule out mood disorders as well as stress or anxiety.

READ MORE: Burnout is an official medical diagnosis, World Health Organization says [CNN]

More on exhaustion: The Solution to Our Education Crisis Might be AI


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