Ever felt mentally worn out or emotionally exhausted from work?
You’re far from alone, and you may be suffering from “burnout,” a condition that’s now officially recognized by the professional health community.
The work-related stress, which has been unofficially embedded in the cultural zeitgeist for years, has been officially recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) through a revision of the International Classification of Diseases — a handbook for doctors and health insurers.
The official ailment can be found in ICD-11 under “Problems associated with employment or unemployment.”
According to the health agency, burnout isn’t just synonymous with being stressed out. It’s “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
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According to the health guidelines, burnout is categorized by the following symptoms:
- Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
- Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
- Reduced professional efficacy
“Burn-out refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context,” said WHO, “and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life.”
Americans are working longer and harder than ever before, according to the American Institute of Stress. Several studies show that work stress is the major source of anxiety for American adults and that the mental ailment has escalated progressively over the past few decades.
A recent survey from the Korn Ferry research organization indicated that overall employee stress levels “have risen nearly 20% in three decades.” A 2018 study by the work management platform Wrike found that 94 percent of workers feel stress in the office and almost a third say their stress level is high to unsustainably high.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has looked into the effects of workplace stress for years and offers scientific guidance for managing issues and problems related to worksite pressure.
The following factors can help reduce work stress, according to the CDC:
- Balance between work and family or personal life
- A support network of friends and coworkers
- A relaxed and positive outlook
Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown.