Burnout is a psychological term that refers to long-term exhaustion and diminished interest in work. Burnout has been assumed to result from chronic occupational stress (e.g., work overload). However, there is growing evidence that its etiology is multifactorial in nature, with dispositional factors playing an important role. Although it is widespread, burnout is not recognized as a distinct disorder, in the DSM-5, due to the fact that burnout is problematically close to depressive disorders but it is included in the ICD-10, and can be found under Problems related to life-management difficulty (Z73). The symptoms of burnout are similar to those of clinical depression; in a study that directly compared depressive symptoms in burned out workers and clinically depressed patients, no diagnostically significant differences were found between the two groups: burned out workers reported as many depressive symptoms as clinically depressed patients. Moreover, a study by Bianchi, Schonfeld, and Laurent (2014) showed that about 90% of burned out workers meet diagnostic criteria for depression, suggesting that burnout may be a depressive syndrome rather than a distinct entity. The view that burnout is a form of depression has found support in several recent studies.

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