Serbia as one of European champions in burnout

Burnout has become one of the frequent and pronounced companions of modern workers.

Burnout is defined as a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. Its symptoms include insomnia, feeling drained, sad or irritable, mentally distancing yourself from your job, lack of motivation, social isolation, angry outbursts at work or home, loneliness, fear of failure, reduced professional efficiency and several others.

Although in January 2022, the WHO (The World Health Organization) recommended that burnout be classified as a disorder/illness, Serbia still didn’t do that.

While researching this topic, eKapija came across the scientific paper written by Dr Wilmar Schaufeli, a professor at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and the University of Leuven (Belgium), which showed that Serbia is at the top of European countries in terms of the frequency of this syndrome.

In his paper “Burnout in Europe”, he states that this syndrome is most pronounced in Poland and South-Eastern Europe – Albania and Turkey. The paper also cites the results of the 2015 Research on Working Conditions in Europe, according to which, Serbia ranks right after Turkey and Slovenia in terms of burnout.

43,000 people from 35 countries were surveyed for Dr. Schaufeli’s research.

Less than a year ago, the Serbian media reported on the results of another similar study “The Future of Health”, which showed that the burnout syndrome mostly affects Russians (72%), Serbs (66%) and Poles (62%), while less than half of respondents in Spain, Italy and Germany (49%), as well as in France (44%) reported burnout at work. The research was done on 18,000 people.

As burnout is not recognized as a physical/psychological ailment in Serbia, a person who suffers from it is not entitled to sick leave, i.e. doctors have to come up with a bogus diagnosis (like spondylosis, lumbar problems, etc.) to justify sending the worker suffering from burnout on sick leave.

Magdalena Živadinović, a psychologist who has been dealing with this topic since 2018, says the following:” Unfortunately, the moment a person asks for my help is when the symptoms have already fully developed. Usually, the patient thinks that they can handle their work pace and that nothing can be done at work properly if they are not present hence their refusal to rest. However, if this syndrome is not recognized in time and stopped. In that case, it can develop into more serious conditions like anxiety and depression, as well as various somatic problems like headaches and stomach problems, all the way to serious illnesses”.

(eKapija, 27.02.2024)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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