Burn-out Is Now A Diagnosable Medical Syndrome, And TBH We're Not Surprised

So...how about that four-day workweek?

Saying you're "burnt out" is no longer just a phrase you use casually to describe feeling exhausted, because burn-out is now a diagnosable medical syndrome, or "occupational phenomenon." 

The World Health Organization announced the inclusion of "burn-out" in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), which provides definitions and diagnoses for medical providers. Burn-out is specially listed under "Problems associated with employment or unemployment," because stress from work is real, people! 

According to the ICD-11, the criteria are:

1. Feeling of energy depletion or exhaustion

2. Increased mental distance from one's job, or feels of negativism or cynicism related to one's job

3. Reduced professional efficacy

The classification notes burn-out is specifically related to employment, or lack there of, and not other areas of your life. 

Are you surprised by any of this? We live in a time where the emphasis on work and career has been taken to a whole new level. For many, work-life balance is close to non-existent, with supposed "free time" spent checking emails, fitting in that one last task, and stressing about everything you have to do the following day. I mean, how many of you have received an email from a co-worker in the middle of the night? While I'm sure there are some benefits to these tendencies, overall, I think it's safe to say they are not entirely healthy. I'm sure attachment to our phones and the ability to be constantly connected doesn't help the cause, either.

We hope that this new diagnosis works as a reminder to both employees and employers of the importance of mental health and truly putting work aside sometimes. And in the meantime, maybe we can rethink that whole five-day workweek thing.

Associate Editor at Livingly. You can reach me by email at sydney.fogel@livingly.com and on Instagram @sydneyfvz
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