Why the World Health Organization Has Added Burnout to The ICD

"We need to spend more time experiencing our bucket list instead of our to-do lists."

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Below are some codes that for most won’t mean anything:

QD85 Burn-out

ICD-11 for Mortality and Morbidity Statistics

(Version : 04 / 2019)

ICD-11 stands for International Classification of Diseases, 11th Revision. It’s from the World Health Organization (WHO), that is, the world’s recognized authority on health.

Burnout has been recognized by WHO as an occupational phenomenon that stems directly from our collective crisis of workplace stress.

Burnout is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three key factors: “feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and reduced professional efficacy.” (Thanks to Arianna Huffington and Thrive Global for some of this content!)

Burnout is real, friends. When WHO puts it in their 11th revision of their classification of diseases, you know it’s catching on.

In my dozen years working in health care, I would guess (conservatively) that 75 percent of all patient visits had stress as part of the reason for the visit.

Smartphones, constant connectivity, no shutting down, spending too much on shit we don’t need, (anti)social media, and the constant comparison of our lives is taking a toll on every generation.

We talk about lack of sleep, disengagement, drastic increases in diabetes, heart attacks under age 40, etc, and we are on a collision course with disaster.

I can’t believe so many people are flirting with their own 369 Days.

What do we need to address burnout?


We have to say no more. We need to take care of ourselves first, we have to get past the fear of what people will think or say (because spoiler alert: Most people aren’t thinking what you think they’re thinking.)

We need to spend more time experiencing our bucket list instead of our to-do lists. Read my post on that.

We need to quit living in homes that are too big for us, with garages full of crap we do not use. You know you’re paying more rent/taxes/utilities/etc. to store stuff you don’t use, right?

Just like Smokey Bear says only you can prevent forest fires, only you can prevent your burnout.

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