After decades of research, burnout is still not considered an actual mental disorder even though it's one of the most widely discussed mental health problems in today's society. One reason for that is that much of the research on burnout focused on "causes and associated factors," rather than on attempts to develop diagnostic criteria, according to one leading burnout researcher, Torsten Heinemann. That led to "vagueness and ambiguity" around the concept of burnout.
Burnout was included in the previous edition of the WHO's handbook of diseases (ICD-10), but was described in general terms as a state of exhaustion. The new edition upgrades burnout to a syndrome, with a more serious set of symptoms. More detailed definitions of burnout are added to the ICD-11, which will go into effect in January 2022 and helps healthcare providers diagnose diseases.
1. feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion 覺得缺乏活力及精疲力竭
2. "mental distance" at work or "negativism and cynicism" in relation to one's job 無法與工作產生心理連結、對工作產生負面想法或憤世嫉俗
3. reduced professional efficacy 工作效率降低
"The earlier definition was kind of this weird in-between; you're not really sick, but you're not fully capable of doing your work." says Torsten Voigt, a German sociologist, who published a review of existing studies on burnout in 2017.
"The new definition is now more detailed. While it's not a major change, it gives people who suffer from burnout more legitimacy."Voigt says. "People who feel burnout are finally fully recognized as having a severe issue. The new definition may be a step toward making it easier for people to get help, at least in some European countries, where health professionals rely on the ICD," he says.