The definition of burnout needs to change, argues Black Dog Institute founder Gordon Parker

Anna Kelsey-Sugg and Joanna Crothers
January 28, 2024

The World Health Organisation defines burnout as "a syndrome … resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed". Professor Parker is head of the School of Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, and founder of the Black Dog Institute and in this article he explains that there are myths associated with the perception of burnout, Professor Parker would like to see a greater understanding of the situations that can lead to suffering burnout, and notes that it is not confined to the workplace environment.

"Professor Parker says that, beyond work efficacy, the impacts of burnout are too often overlooked.

Cognitive impairment is the most important impact. He says people with burnout "can't take things in as readily as possible" or "can't remember things, even when they do take them in".

There are also common emotional and mental impacts such as becoming socially withdrawn and experiencing anxiety and depression."

Photo by Adrian Swancar on Unsplash

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