It’s a feeling of extreme work stress that’s long been embedded in the cultural lexicon, and now it might be codified in your medical records as well. Burnout is now a legitimate medical diagnosis, according to the International Classification of Diseases, or the ICD-11, the World Health Organization’s handbook that guides medical providers in diagnosing diseases.Burnout now appears in the ICD-11’s section on problems related to employment or unemployment. According to the handbook, doctors can diagnose someone with burnout if they meet the following symptoms:
1. feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
2. increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
3. reduced professional efficacyBefore making the call, the document says doctors should first rule out adjustment disorder as well as anxiety and mood disorders. And the diagnosis is limited to work environments, and shouldn’t be applied to other life situations.