World Health Organization Recognizes 'Burnout' as Official Medical Condition

Burnout has come into the forefront of our mind recently, with popular articles on the web arguing for its legitimacy and its negative effect on both our mental and physical health. Now, the World Health Organization announced it will officially recognize burnout as a diagnosable medical condition.

Symptoms include feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, increased mental distance from one’s job, feelings of negative of cynicism related to one’s job, and reduced professional efficacy.

Officials say it’s important to rule out other disorders like depression before officially diagnosing burnout.

“Burn-out refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life,” the organization’s International Classification of Diseases specifies.

The decision to classify burnout as a medical condition was made at the World Health Assembly in Geneva. Burnout has been recognized in the medical community for years. The first official study on the subject took place in 1974.

When it comes to dealing with burnout, the Mayo Clinic recommends discussing concerns with your supervisor, reaching out for support from friends, family, or co-workers, doing stress-reduction activities like yoga or meditation, getting more exercise and a good night’s sleep, and focusing on mindfulness.