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On Tuesday, WHO called “burnout” a medical condition, most professionals who find it extremely difficult to disengage from work and this news came as a shock to all. However, WHO quickly withdrawn their statement and clarified that it remains an “occupational phenomenon” that could require someone to pay attention and to seek care but it is not considered a medical condition. Phew!


As far as the first statement goes, WHO defined burnout as “a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”- having three symptoms namely feelings depleting energy level or exhaustion, increased apathy from one’s job, or feeling more of negative vibes or cynicism related to one’s job, and very low level of professional efficacy.


Times of India asked Dr. Rajesh Goel, consultant psychiatrist, Gangaram Hospital and President of Delhi Psychiatric Society, about the complexity of burnout and he shared, “Burnout is very underrated in India but it is a serious condition, which is waiting to be addressed. Just like radiologists are given badges to measure the amount of radiation they have received, after which, they are made to go on compulsory leave, we need something similar for the working segment too. They should be offered some sort of relaxation or compulsory leaves.”


There are many, including us who needs to know the actual definition of burnout at the soonest. Well, it all starts with a sheer lack of motivation or work-related pressure that leads one to anxiety, leading to constant irritability, fatigue, loss of enthusiasm in daily routine, pulling oneself daily to do things and not just that but there’s also a significant loss of interest in pleasurable activities. Some people also come up with somatic complaints like constant headache, back pain or gut issues, added Dr Goel.

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