Burnout Comes of Age

Wednesday, 15th October 2014

For a long time, burnout was not taken seriously by the public and the medical profession found it hard to diagnose. But work-related stress, exhaustion and burnout costs the economies of Europe billions in lost productivity.

Now Belgium has introduced legislation to address burnout — the first EU Member State to do so — and other countries are now under pressure to follow suit.

“Burnout has not yet qualified as a psychiatric condition”, said Harry Pomerantz, Clinical Director at the Community Health Services in Brussels. “As a result, it is not reimbursed by many health insurance schemes.”

At a conference on burnout last week in Brussels, Professor Jonathan Chick Medical Director at Castle Craig Hospital, said “the symptoms and signs of burnout overlap a lot with those of stress, which makes it difficult to diagnose. Some people try to counteract the exhaustion that attends burnout with stimulants such as cocaine.”

The good news is that prevention is feasible. Harry Pomerantz explains: “If a workload is structured according to peoples’ capacities, then you can prevent most burnout cases.”

Notes to editors:

For more details about burnout please contact Castle Craig Hospital (UK) on +44 1721 722 763 or Community Help Services (Brussels) on +322 647 67 80.

Editors who would like a more extensive, or exclusive, article on burnout please contact Rupert Wolfe Murray, Castle Craig’s Press Advisor and European Representative on r.wolfemurray@castlecraig.co.uk (telephone +40 745 801 896)