Burnout – causes, symptoms and treatmentFew mental illnesses have generated as much attention in recent years as the burnout syndrome. Burnout is not a disease by definition as such – the clinical pictures are too diffuse, the symptoms too diverse. Nevertheless, more and more people are affected by it.
Ski jumper Sven Hannawald, author Frank Schatzing, publicist Miriam Meckel, SPD politician Matthias Platzeck – the series of publicly known people affected by Burnout (dt. "burn out") were affected or are even still affected, is long. The names don't matter, but they bring the subject closer to society – a society that is itself increasingly affected by burnout, exhaustion, depression – with the corresponding consequences for the labor market, for the health sector and for health insurance.
Enormous increase in mental illness
In Germany mental illnesses one of the most frequent causes for days of incapacity for work. The health report of the health care provider DAK reported in the health report for 2019 an increase of 10 percent over the previous year. About one in five days of absence from work is attributable to mental illnesses. Thus, mental illnesses are the second most common cause of lost working days, accounting for 17 percent of total sick leave.
The high absenteeism rate of employees due to mental illness is an ever-increasing burden for insurance companies (Photo: pixabay).
First scientific definition
The German-American psychoanalyst Herbert J, who died in 1999. Freudenberger has coined the term Burnout and was first used in a publication in the 1970s.
Freudenberger regarded burnout as a state of exhaustion and frustration caused by unrealistic expectations. He defines burnout as a depletion of energy, an exhaustion due to excessive demands.
When mental illness is mentioned today, the term "burnout" quickly comes up. As simple and catchy as the word is, as difficult is ultimately the Diagnosis an illness that does not even exist as such. Because the symptoms are very unspecific and sometimes difficult to separate from other psychological ailments, even for experts.
That's why burnout itself was not officially considered a disease for a very long time – and still isn't, despite many headlines claiming otherwise. That's because when the WHO announced the new ICD in 2019, it was revealed that burnout would be included in the catalog independently for the first time. However, not as a disease, as the organization also clarified afterwards, but as a "factor that can affect health".
According to the catalog, burnout is a syndrome "resulting from chronic stress in the workplace that is not successfully managed" and is characterized by the following factors:
– a feeling of Exhaustion
– increasing mental distance or negative attitude toward their own job Decreased professional Performance capacity
The increasingly hectic pace of everyday work takes its toll (Photo: pixabay).
Much more than a "manager's disease
Burnout is primarily associated with the intensification of the working world and the demands of a globalized society, and was long considered "Managerial illness" denotes. Basically, it should be noted that each individual deals with stress factors differently. However, burnout has long been more than the "managerial disease" mentioned above.
More and more workers suffer from high workload, time prere, increasing responsibility with possibly little support, mobbing and the fear of losing their job.
Anyone can suffer from burnout – people who are particularly at risk are those whose intense relationships The focus is on other people, such as managers in middle management, teaching staff, doctors, nursing staff and politicians.
The prere is intensified by constant availability via e-mail, smartphone or tablet PC and the accompanying use of social media, which also needs to be learned.
Women are more affected by burnout than men. With the often existing double burden of job and mother, coupled with too high demands on themselves, they come to the limit of their resilience.