Have you ever experienced any of the following; the need for strong coffee or rigorous exercise, difficulty getting up in the morning despite a good night’s sleep and not eating properly? These are some of the symptoms of Burn-out.
The International Classification of Disease (ICD) identifies burn-out as an occupational phenomenon rather than as a medical condition. https://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/burn-out/en/
They identify that this stems from
‘chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed’
They go onto to recognise that it is characterized by three dimensions, namely:
- feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
- increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and
- reduced professional efficacy
This reflects some of the findings of the Bellwether report (2019)
https://www.lexisnexis.co.uk/research-and-reports/stress-in-the-legal-profession-problematic-or-inevitable.html which identified that two thirds of their respondents within the legal profession were experiencing high levels of stress. This report goes onto to suggest that it is important to recognise that whilst many solicitors like what they do it is important to understand ‘ there are shadows at work’. There is a need to look out for each other and to recognise the signs of burn-out and stress.
Jonathan’s Voice is working with mental health professionals and those within the patent and trademark profession to provide resources to help address chronic workplace stress. For more details see our blog (https://jonathansvoice.org.uk/protecting-your-mental-health-and-wellbeing-a-guide-in-progress).