UPDATE: “Burn-out” is an occupational phenomenon, not a medical condition

The World Health Organization clarified that “burn-out” is still considered as an “occupational phenomenon” that can lead someone to seek care and not a medical condition.

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This news came in when WHO announced that burn-out was listed on its International Classification of Diseases (ICD) for the first time. The World Health Assembly approved the latest catalog of diseases and injuries which is also known as the ICD-11.

Burn-out was listed in the previous version, the ICD-10. However, its definition has been changed in the latest edition of the text. According to a WHO spokesperson, the definition has been modified based on existing research.

Now, WHO has defined this as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” This syndrome was characterized by three dimensions:

  1. Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion.
  2. Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job.
  3. Reduced professional efficacy.

According to the definition, being burned out refers specifically to phenomena on the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life.

The updated ICD list was drafted last year. It follows recommendations from health experts around the world. On the other hand, the ICD-11, contains several other additions including the classification of “compulsive sexual behavior” as a mental disorder, although it stops short of lumping the condition together with addictive behaviors. This is going to take effect in the year 2022.

Basically, being burned out is still not a “medical excuse” to file SL… That’s why it’s very important to go easy on yourself when it comes to working.

What are your thoughts on this?






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