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Burnout classed as a disease by World Health Organization

Disease is caused by chronic workplace stress

The World Health Organization (WHO) has added burnout to its International Classification of Diseases (ICD) for the first time. 

It will be globally recognised as a disease from 2022 and allow healthcare providers and insurers to acknowledge, treat and cover the symptoms.

According to the report by The Sun, the WHO defines burnout as being caused by “chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”

It said the syndrome was characterised by feelings of exhaustion, negativity or cynicism towards one’s job and reduced professional efficacy.

The classification states that burnout refers specifically in the occupational context and “should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life”.

The decision was made during the World Health Assembly in Geneva on Monday, when other conditions including video gaming addiction was also recognised as a mental health disorder.

It comes a year after global health experts recommended the agency add burnout to its catalogue.