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What is the difference between Burnout and Depression?

Burnout and depression can mirror each other in many ways sharing the same signs and symptoms. However, there are key differences between the two.

The ICD-11 defines burnout as "a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by 3 dimensions.

  1. Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion

  2. Increased mental distance from one's job, and

  3. A sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment

If someone is experiencing burnout, taking time off work to go on vacation will most often alleviate the symptoms. A depressive episode, however, is more generalized, and often not significantly helped by just a change of scenery or a break from work. Whether you are suffering from burnout or depression, the signs and symptoms being experienced should not be ignored.

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