In late May 2019 the World Health Organisation (WHO) listed ‘burnout’ to be an occupational phenomenon coming from job stress that undermines how well people perform at work.

In 2015 I published a blog titled Corporate ‘Burn Out’… the ‘Working Wounded’. Stewart Taylor the Managing Director of the Resilience Institute reported… “that over a third of workers in this segment were regularly burning the midnight oil and stress in the form of confusion, disengagement and even distress in some cases, was being reported.”

WHO listed burnout in its latest International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), defining it as a ‘syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed’. It stopped short of classifying burnout as a medical condition.

University of NSW Professor of Psychiatry Gordon Parker said WHO’s wording left open the possibility of listing burnout as a disease in the future.

“I more read ICD-11 as drawing attention to burnout as an explanation for some states and perhaps gently setting the stage for its later formal classification,” Professor Parker said.

The listing stated that burnout was characterised by…

  • feelings of exhaustion
  • mental distance from a job
  • reduced professional efficacy.

It refers specifically to workplace issues and “should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life,” WHO stated.

“If burnout is caused at least in part by external triggers in the workforce – for example, forced overtime, overloading – then it will be the responsibility of employers to eliminate these triggers,” Professor Parker said.

“If burnout became accepted as a diagnostic condition”, Professor Parker said the door could be open to insurance claims and sick leave for Australian workers.

At the Stress Management Institute, we believe that in dealing with burnout the ‘Three R Approach’ is very supportive.

  • Recognise–watch for the warning signs of burnout
  • Reverse – undo the damage by managing your stress. Meditation and visualisation can be very calming tools.
  • Resilience – build your resilience to stress by using techniques, tools and strategies that work for you and taking care of your physical and emotional health

This Weeks Video…

Visualisation Technique for Success – The Ball of Clarity – Dr Judy Hinwood

 

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