Burnout diagnosis as a fad?
The term “burnout syndrome” has now become a fashion diagnosis, criticizes psychologist Gregor Peikert. Often there would be other mental illnesses behind it. While back pain was the most common cause of workplace failures just a few years ago, it is now burnout syndrome. According to the test group Dekra, this costs the economy around 43 billion euros annually.
Depression is often behind burnout syndrome "As the term burnout is currently used, it has become a real concept of fashion", Gregor Peikert, psychotherapist from the University Hospital Jena told the German Press Agency (dpa). “But burnout is not an independent disease.” Often, those affected suffered from depression or a preliminary stage. Anxiety and addiction disorders could also be behind this. The psychotherapist explains that the term “burnout” comes from the field of occupational psychology and includes the consequences of excessive stress from the job. "Actually, extremely committed people, often in helper jobs like teachers or doctors, feel burned out, uninterested, and even cynical about their job," explains Peikert. Unfortunately, the diagnosis “burnout” is used very inaccurately today for various symptoms.
These symptoms included fatigue, tiredness, insomnia and a strong desire to withdraw. However, these could also be signs of depression. Peikert points out that doctors therefore have to make differentiated diagnoses. "Especially since most patients with such symptoms still tend to assume physical illnesses."
On the other hand, the psychotherapist also welcomes the fact that the topic of “burnout” is being discussed publicly. This increases the sensitivity to mental illnesses and those affected by them. "It wasn't that long ago that they were seen as weaklings," said the expert.
Diagnosis of burnout is often problematic According to health insurance estimates, a quarter to a third of Germans state that they feel burnt out. It is not always possible to clearly diagnose whether there is a burnout in any case, because the symptoms are very diffuse. In addition, there are overlaps with the therapies of other mental disorders, such as depression, job dissatisfaction, stress, anxiety disorders or neuroticism. Due to the lack of clarity in the demarcation from other mental illnesses, it is also difficult to give specific numbers of those actually affected. (ag)
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