Burnout an Official Diagnosis

But a Miracle Pill Won’t Cure You

The World Health Organization recently granted official “diagnosis” status to job burnout. According to the WHO, a doctor can diagnosis people with burnout if they feel exhausted, mentally distant or cynical toward their job, or if their job performance has declined. Like we needed the WHO to tell us that.

A medical diagnosis assumes a medical cure. I’m not sure the medical sciences have the cure for burnout. Unless an underlying medical issue such as clinical depression exists, what is your doctor going to do? Prescribe a happy pill that will make all your problems go away? Many such pills are already on the hit list by the opiate police.

To make matters worse, traditional research focuses on workplace issues as the culprit. Focusing on workplace conditions or your grouchy boss produces little unless you are fortunate enough to have real decision making power in your workplace.

Fortunately, a way out of burnout exists and it doesn’t involve pills, doctors or telling the boss to go play in traffic. Burnout doesn’t happen overnight and the cure doesn’t take effect overnight. The way out of burnout doesn’t involve changing your job, your workplace or your supervisor. It involves changing yourself. That’s not a cliche. It’s reality.

If you’re willing to do the work of investing in yourself, you can kick burnout to the curb and revitalize your life. Burnout can be a curse or a blessing. If you let it get the best of you, it’s a curse. If you rise to the challenge, burnout provides the impetus for renewal that carries you to a strong career and life finish.

If you wrestle with burnout, don’t play the victim. Don’t wait on someone to rescue you. Get busy working on your life, exploring your passions, doing the daily disciplines necessary for improvement and trust the process to produce positive results.

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