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Occupational Burnout: Is It Happening to You?

Do you feel exhausted, empty, and incapable of coping with the demands of everyday life? Are you experiencing stomachaches, headaches, intestinal pains, or a lack of appetite? Maybe you’re having a difficult time coping with stress at the workplace? If this feels like what you’re going through, you might be at serious risk of suffering an occupational burnout.

“What is occupational burnout?”

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines occupational burnout as a syndrome accompanied by a group of co-occurring symptoms. If the sufferer fails to treat these symptoms, occupational burnouts lead to long-lasting and frequently unresolved anxiety related to work. In May 2019, WHO particularized burnouts as being exclusively work-related issues that conceivably stem from ineffective management of chronic occupational stress.

The result is an occupational syndrome marked by exhaustion, energy depletion, negative or cynical outlooks about work, a reduction in professional efficiency, and an increased mental distance from one’s work-related responsibilities. Even though WHO hasn’t classified occupational burnout as a medical condition, it seems to have a negative influence on an individual’s health, with many of them needing to contact health services for assistance.

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Occupational Burnout: An Occupational Phenomenon

According to a May 2019 report published by WHO, occupational burnout is an occupational phenomenon as defined by the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). Job-related stress is the main contributor to burnout, but a person’s lifestyle often adds to their overall stress level. In addition to that, certain personality traits and frames of mind, such as pessimism and perfectionism, have been known to play a significant factor in occupational burnout as well.

According to the American Institute of Stress, 46 percent of Americans suffer from work-related stress due to their workload. Another 28 percent of American workers feel stress because of the people they work with. Juggling work and a personal life constitute 20 percent of stress felt by the American workforce, while only six percent feel anxiety over the lack of work. The study further points out that, in most cases, it’s not the occupation that is the source of the stress but how the individual fits in with their working environment. Stress is a very personal thing and varies quite a bit from one person to the next.

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