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While job burnout is not a condition that is formally defined as a medical diagnosis, the American Psychiatric Association describes it as:
The American Psychiatric Association also describes burnout as the individual’s response to a systematic problem.
General effects include:
Burnout is often chronic – meaning that these feelings may exist for a long time.
While these effects or symptoms are common when experiencing job burnout, they can also be the result of other health conditions, such as thyroid problems, vitamin deficiency, or depression. Check with your medical or health professional and ask about appropriate treatments.
In general, feeling sad or low is a part of life and can’t be avoided. When something goes wrong in your life, your mood might drop. If you feel especially sad or irritable because of a situation and have poor sleep, less interest in seeing friends, or frequent worry about the situation, you’re probably experiencing low mood. Low mood will typically go away in a week or two, especially if there’s an improvement in the situation that started it. When these feelings remain for longer than about two weeks, it is important to ask for help.
Various factors can contribute to job burnout, including:
A workplace committed to the creation of an environment that promotes mental health provides its employees with protection from psychological harm while promoting healthy lifestyle habits.
As noted by the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace, many of the organizational factors described in the CSA standard Z1003-13 (R2018) "Psychological health and safety in the workplace - Prevention, promotion, and guidance to staged implementation” (available for free from the CSA Group website) are the same factors that contribute to job burnout.
The psychosocial workplace risk factors include:
Please see the following OSH Answers for more information about how to address these psychological risk factors and how to establish a comprehensive workplace health and safety program.