WHO: Is Burnout Now an Official Disease?

WHO: Is Burnout Now an Official Disease?

It can cause a full range of mental and physical health problems that can land you in the hospital.

For a moment, working long hours and feeling depleted was no longer something to simply yawn about.

Earlier this May, the World Health Organization declared burnout an official disease by listing it in its latest catalogue of diseases and injuries, known as the ICD-11.

Media outlets raced to announce the news, and overworked employees the world over may have made appointments with doctors, (and possibly their insurance companies).

It was time to establish the best course of action in the quest for good health.

But, is burnout really a disease? As it turns out….actually, no. It was all a mistake. The WHO has retracted its decision, and re-categorized the condition once more. 

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The extra long hours that limited your life outside work may indicate a mental imbalance and a set of skewed priorities, depending on who you talk to, but it doesn’t add up to a medical condition, the WHO says.

Burnout is technically an “occupational phenomenon” that could land you in hot water in terms of your health, but it’s not a disease. Maybe it will be by next year.

In Japan, employees sometimes work themselves to death, and it happens often enough there’s a word for it: Karôshi. Excessive stress and a starvation diet cause deadly strokes and heart attacks.  

According to online statistics, 1 in 4 Americans spend more than 60 hours each week at work.

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