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WHO recognises burnout as a medical condition, psychologist says it’s ‘a very real problem’

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has officially recognised burnout a medical condition for the first time.

According to the WHO’s International Classification of Diseases guide book the signs of burnout are:

  • Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
  • Increased mental distance from one’s job
  • Feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
  • Reduced efficiency.

Psychologist Peter Doyle said the pressures of modern workplaces are to blame for the rise in the prevalence of burnout.

“The bottom line is many people in the modern workforce are being asked to do more and more with less and less resources, so work life balance starts to spiral out of control,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

“At a certain point the neurochemical physiology simply can no longer tolerate that level of adrenaline and cortisol, and basically mentally what happens is the thinking deteriorates,” Mr Doyle explained.

“Burnout is a very real problem, and not just because the World Health Organisation says so.”

Mr Doyle called on workplaces to priorities integrity, empathy, care and compassion to combat the risk of burnout.

“If, as a collective community, we don’t collaborate and change the structure then we’re really working at the wrong level,” he said.

Press PLAY below to hear psychologist Peter Doyle on 3AW Mornings.

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