Burnout has so far been considered in terms of a social phenomenon. Now it has been considered a disease. It has a symbol given by the WHO and from January 1 next year it will be in the International Classification of Diseases and Health Problems. A serious illness and a serious problem, because it can affect even one in four Poles. Material of the magazine “Polska i Świat”.
Confused with laziness, bluff or temporary overload with duties, it leads to depression and serious mental problems. Burnout, which psychologists have been studying for almost half a century, may affect every fourth Pole.
– Burnout means that he does not want to and cannot continue to work in this profession or in this position – says Dr. Jerzy Pobocha from the Polish Society of Forensic Psychiatry. – Very often it concerns people who are most involved in work, i.e. the most dynamic, who have certain ideals and want to implement them. And as a result of a combination of circumstances, they cannot continue to do so, she emphasizes.
WHO puts burnout on the list of diseases
According to the World Health Organization’s definition, burnout is “a chronic stress disorder in the workplace that is not effectively controlled.” The diagnosis of burnout is made on the basis of the recognition of feelings of exhaustion, increased mental distance from the work performed, or a sense of work-related negativity or cynicism.
An employee suffering from burnout also feels ineffective and unfulfilled in what he does. – It affects both the employee and co-workers as well as the condition of the company. How an employee functions in the work environment affects the entire environment, so the symptoms are visible to everyone. This is primarily a decrease in motivation to work, a decrease in work efficiency – explains Anna Sudolska, expert and member of the management board of Ideal HR Group.
“Burnout”, which leads to depression, will be included in the WHO International Classification of Diseases and Health Problems from the beginning of next year. The World Health Organization has assigned it a code, which will facilitate the classification of ailments. – Previously, it was written for various other diseases, such as long-term stress, neuroses, and now it will be easier for doctors to enter it in one unit – says Artur Rycak from the Labor and HR Law Firm.
Poland has until January 1, 2022 to adapt the law to the new regulations
Experts say that sick leave is long, costly and frequent. From January 1, burnout will be considered an occupational phenomenon that affects health, and not a disease that directly qualifies for sick leave. It usually concerns professions of cooperation and caring for others, so it often affects doctors, nurses, carers and lawyers.
– We have time until January 1, 2022 to adapt Polish legislation to these new regulations, so the question is what will happen? Our proposals concerned, for example, activities that would allow for various types of holidays – says Łukasz Broniszewski from Stabilo, a foundation that deals with the protection of mental health and civil society.
The Stabilo Foundation, already six months ago, applied to the Ministry of Development, Labor and Technology for regulations that could prevent burnout and to develop solutions for people who already experience it. – The answer was that teachers have tools, and in general, not much will change in this respect for the time being – points out Łukasz Broniszewski.
Experts hope that the new classification of burnout will lead to greater care for employees.
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