The World Health Organization has approved version 11 of the International Classification of Diseases, which includes fatigue, also called burnout syndrome.
Since 2022, the CMEA, which often affects office workers, will officially become a disease. Let’s find out more about this.
What is burnout syndrome
Emotional burnout is one of the diseases of multitasking and high speed of the modern world. Like the impostor syndrome or loss of profit syndrome, it is a complex of psychological and physical problems.
According to the WHO, occupational burnout syndrome is a result of chronic stress at work that a person could not cope with successfully.
The organization identifies three symptoms of burnout:
- emotional exhaustion and decay, lack of energy
- attitude to work changes to negative or cynical
- performance is significantly reduced
In real life, burned-out employees experience even more serious problems, as they often turn to specialists not when they begin to feel these symptoms, but when it comes to their consequences.
We are talking about cardiovascular diseases, high cholesterol, diabetes, chronic fatigue, headaches, problems of the respiratory system. Such problems have been identified by numerous studies on the effects of burnout at work.
Both doctors and HR specialists emphasize: burnout is the result of not only fatigue, but inconsistencies in expectations from work results and reality, when professional activities seem to be meaningless.
According to research, at least in the United States and Europe, where the issue has been studied since the 1970s, every third person faces professional burnout.
Health experts hope that the official recognition of this phenomenon will help people more consciously treat their mental health, as well as legitimize the feelings of those who suffer from burnout.
How to understand that you will soon burn out
Psychotherapists, such as the author of the book How to Avoid Burnout, Siobhan Murray, point out that many signs of close burnout are very similar to depression. However, there are studies confirming the difference between depression and professional burnout.
Canadian scientists have announced the identification of “biomarker” burnout – the hormone cortisol. During depression, cortisol in the blood is abundant, while those who suffer from burnout have very little. But when making a diagnosis, experts still focus on the overall picture and symptoms.
Murray suggests first of all to pay attention to bad habits, for example, excessive use of alcohol or sugar, with the help of which a person tries to cheer himself up. Also indicative is a feeling of fatigue, which does not disappear after a rest.
Stress and anxiety play an important role, prompting a person to act, solve problems and achieve goals, but if an emergency situation at work has long passed, and anxiety still interferes with sleep at night, this indicates a risk of burnout.
Also, a person on the verge of burnout distances himself from social life and feels a barrier between himself and his work. Therefore, it may seem to the suffering CMEA that it is necessary to exert titanic efforts for routine tasks.
The burnout syndrome also drains a person physically and lacks strength for an activity that is no longer associated with work, even for his favorite hobbies.
How not to burn out at work
The sociological company Gallup conducted a study last year that showed that nearly eight thousand Americans suffered from the CMEA because of unfair treatment at work, uncontrolled workload and unclear definition of their responsibilities.
At the last World Economic Forum in Davos, scientists and researchers called for a massive and widespread transition to a four-day working week.
They are confident that this will contribute to the loyalty of employees, the productivity and creativity of their work, and in general – the growth of the world economy.
It would also reduce the risks of developing emotional fatigue syndrome, but it is unlikely that in the foreseeable future, mankind will agree to such an operating mode, therefore it is worthwhile to follow other preventive rules.
Psychotherapist Jackie Francis Walker, who specializes in burnout, says that the only way to stop burnout is to change your lifestyle. But not everyone is suitable job change or profession.
Therefore, first of all, it is necessary to identify what drives a person into a dead end. This may be perfectionism or an impostor syndrome, when a person tries to prove to himself that he is worthy of a high opinion of colleagues.
Experts also recommend becoming kinder to yourself, not trying to achieve everything at once and not reproaching yourself when it is impossible to become successful in your own eyes.
To take the path of recovery, you also need to remember why you love your work and focus on it. Experts also advise taking short breaks during the work day for something pleasant.
After hours you should not check your mail and think about work. Free time is necessary to take things that are not related to professional activities.