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Experts determine burnout and depression are closely linked

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(NaturalNews) While most people are aware of feelings of fatigue, moodiness or bouts of confusion when they're burning the candle at both ends, a new study shows that it may be more detrimental to mental health than previously thought.

City College of New York psychology Professor Irvin Schonfeld has determined that there's a significant link between burnout and depression. Schonfeld, who works in the college's Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, studied over 5,000 school teachers, assessing the prevalence of depressive disorders in those experiencing burnout. Ultimately, discovered that a whopping 90 percent of those individuals met the diagnostic criteria for depression.

Link between burnout and depression "largely underestimated"

"The study suggests that the burnout-depression overlap has been largely underestimated," says Professor Schonfeld, who also collaborated with psychologists from the University of Franche-Comte. He does note that the study also examined the overlap of burnout with a subtype of depression called atypical depression. In that case, he notes found that aspects of atypical depression were observed in 63 percent of the burned-out participants who had major depression.

According to the Mayo Clinic, this subtype of depression includes depression that subsides only when there's a brief period of positive events, only to have the sad feelings return afterward, a heaviness in the limbs, increased sensitivity to rejection that ultimately affects one's social and professional life, and unintentional weight gain.

The finding was published in the International Journal of Stress Management and is titled, "Is burnout a depressive disorder? A reexamination with special focus on atypical depression." In the article, it's explained that 5,575 schoolteachers were involved in the study, 78 percent of which where female. The average age of all participants was 41.

Study details: Measurement and findings

Burnout was assessed with the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), which in the case of measuring education professionals such as teachers, administrators and aides, analyzes levels of emotional exhaustion, personal accomplishment and depersonalization (feelings of an impersonal, unfeeling response regarding one's instruction or service). Depression was measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) as well as modules based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

The article states:

We found that 90 percent of the teachers identified as burned out met diagnostic criteria for depression. Among them, 92 percent scored 15 or higher on the PHQ-9, a threshold at which active treatment with pharmacotherapy and/or psychotherapy is recommended.

Concerning atypical depression, it notes:

The features of atypical depression were observed in 63 percent of the burned-out participants with major depression. Emotional exhaustion, the hallmark of burnout, was more strongly associated with depression than with depersonalization and reduced personal accomplishment, the two other putative dimensions of burnout.

Finally, the article concludes:

The present study suggests that the burnout-depression overlap has been largely underestimated. Atypical depression may account for a substantial part of this overlap. Overall, our findings point to depressive symptoms and depressive disorders as central concerns in the management of burnout.

Majority of Americans engaged in work to point of excess

It's no secret that the majority of American workers spend extraordinarily long hours in the office, or engage in work activities outside of the office. In fact, it's earned the country the title of being among one of the world's most vacation deprived areas.(5)

For example, 80 percent of people have been found to check emails or place phone calls after hours, many of them even checking emails from their beds upon waking in the morning. Many people also engage in work-related activity during meals or family gatherings.(5)






(5) http://www.huffingtonpost.com

About the author:
A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well. >>> Click here to see more by Antonia

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