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“Burn-out now an official illness,” says World Health Organization

Exhausted, Tired Asian Business woman in black shirt holding notebook and sleeping on white sofa with blue wall. Stress from overtime working concept.

Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2019. 1:01 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: In it’s latest International Classification of Diseases (ICD), the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized “burn-out” as an official illness, describing the condition as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”

The WHO took the decision to make burn-out an official illness at the
ongoing World Health Assembly in Geneva, which concludes today.

“Burn-out refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas oflife,” the classification explained.

The organization said that burn-out can cause “feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or
feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and reduced professional efficacy.”

The new classification will be in effect as of January 2022, when the WHO begins using the new ICD (ICD-11).


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