From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history

Burnout or occupational burnout is an informal term that has only recently been recognized as a medical diagnosis, and is used to describe a reaction to emotional stress accompanied by signs of physical or emotional exhaustion.[1] Less commonly, burnout may refer to the effects of drug abuse.[2]

Occupational burnout results from long-term, unresolvable, job stress. It is characterized by a set of symptoms that includes exhaustion resulting from work's demands, which feel excessive, exhaustion, and sometimes physical symptoms such as headaches and sleeplessness, being quick to anger, and closed minded thinking.[3][4]

In 1974, Herbert Freudenberger became the first researcher to publish in a psychology-related journal a paper that used the term burnout.[4]

Signs and symptoms[edit | edit source]

  • energy depletion, or exhaustion, increased mental distance from job,
  • negativism or cynicism
  • reduced professional efficacy[1][5]

Typically for weeks of months. May be linked to depression or anxiety.

Diagnosis[edit | edit source]

Burnout is now recognized as a medical diagnosis, which is aimed to the ICD-11 term:

Problems associated with employment or unemployment.[5][6]

Overtraining syndrome[edit | edit source]

In athletes, a combination of a heavy training load with a lack of adaption to it, can result in a persistent reduction in performance combined with exhaustion, this is sometimes called burnout although the correct term is overtraining syndrome.[7]

ME/CFS[edit | edit source]

Burnout is not an alternative name for chronic fatigue syndrome and does not meet the diagnostic criteria for it. Burnout is a psychological response, not a physical disease like ME/CFS.

Treatment[edit | edit source]

Typically, a reduction in activities, and beginning regular stress management or relaxation practices.

Time off work is often required. Treatment for depression or anxiety may be needed if they are present.

News and articles[edit | edit source]

Notable articles[edit | edit source]

  • 2006, Clinical burnout is not reflected in the cortisol awakening response, the day-curve or the response to a low-dose dexamethasone suppression test[8] - (Full text)

See also[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Burn-out an "occupational phenomenon": International Classification of Diseases". World Health Organization. Retrieved December 1, 2021.
  2. "Definition of Burnout". Merrian-Webster Medical Dictionary. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  3. "Definition of Close Minded". Merrian-Webster Medical Dictionary. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Freudenberger, Herbert J. (1974). "Staff Burn-Out". Journal of Social Issues. 30 (1): 159–165. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4560.1974.tb00706.x. ISSN 0022-4537.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Burnout is officially a medical condition, according to the World Health Organization". USA TODAY. Retrieved December 1, 2021.
  6. World Health Organization. "ICD-11 - Mortality and Morbidity Statistics". icd.who.int. WHO. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  7. "Burnout in Sport - IResearchNet". Psychology. October 17, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2021.
  8. Mommersteeg, Paula M.C.; Heijnen, Cobi J.; Verbraak, Marc J.P.M.; van Doornen, Lorenz J.P. (February 1, 2006). "Clinical burnout is not reflected in the cortisol awakening response, the day-curve or the response to a low-dose dexamethasone suppression test". Psychoneuroendocrinology. 31 (2): 216–225. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2005.07.003. ISSN 0306-4530.