‘Burn-out’ is officially recognized as a disease: World Health Organization adds ‘unmanaged work stress’ to its list of chronic conditions at annual summit
- The WHO describes burn-out as ‘chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed’
- It was added to the official list of diseases on Monday, a year after it was recommended
‘Burn-out’ is officially a disease, according to the World Health Organization.
The agency, currently holding the World Health Assembly in Geneva, added the condition to its catalog, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), on Monday, a year after it was recommended by global health experts.
It will become globally recognized in 2022, giving healthcare providers and insurers precedent to acknowledge, treat and cover symptoms of ‘burn-out’.
The WHO describes burn-out as ‘chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed,’ along with three defining symptoms:
- 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 agency, currently holding the World Health Assembly in Geneva, added burn-out to its catalog, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), on Monday
The listing in the ICD notes that ‘burn-out refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life.’
It is distinct, the authors say, from other types of adjustment disorder, disorders specifically associated with stress, anxiety or fear-related disorders, and mood disorders – all of which have their own classifications.
‘This is the first time,’ burn-out has been officially recognized in the ICD, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told reporters, according to the AFP.
Other new conditions added to the list include:
- ‘compulsive sexual behavior’ as a mental disorder (but not an addiction, as some had suggested);
- video gaming as an addiction
The new list removes:
- transgenderism as a ‘mental disorder’. It is now a ‘condition related to sexual health’