We hear about it a lot in our ‘get it done’ culture, and chances are you’ve even experienced it for yourself: Burnout in the workplace is as draining as it sounds.
So much so that it has now been classified as a legitimate medical diagnosis by the World Health Organization.
In its most recent update to the International Classification of Diseases handbook, the WHO describes burnout as “a syndrome… resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
It’s a problem that impacts as many as 40 [percent] of workers in the U.S. and can have negative effects on those suffering from burnout, but also those around them.
For many moms, the workplace is often a messy house full of kids with needs and laundry. And for those who don’t stay home, the work-life balance between what we can confidently call two full-time jobs tends to pile even more onto our plates.
Can you say chronic workplace stress?
Although the WHO stresses that its definition of burnout “refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life,” it’s important to acknowledge that parents are just as susceptible to burnout — even the kind that isn’t medically diagnosable because your full-time job is unpaid work at home.
According to the World Health Organization, a person can be diagnosed with burnout if they are experiencing the following symptoms.
Symptoms of Burnout
- ”Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion”
- “Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job”
- “Reduced professional efficacy”
One study put it best: Burnout isn’t a mood disorder, it’s a reaction to being overburdened and unsupported.
Over four decades of research, experts noted burnout was not considered an actual mental disorder even though it is “one of the most widely discussed mental health problems in today’s society.”
So even though the diagnosis is now official, it may still be a while before your doctor fills in the word “burnout” on your medical chart.