Psychologist links burnout and depression

Research by City College of New York psychology Professor Irvin Schonfeld in the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership suggests a strong connection between burnout and depression.

In a study of more than 5,500 school teachers to estimate the prevalence of depressive disorders in workers with burnout, 90% of the subjects identified as burned out met diagnostic criteria for .

The study also examined the overlap of burnout with the atypical subtype of depression. Features of atypical depression were observed in 63% of the burned-out participants with .

"The study suggests that the burnout- depression overlap has been largely underestimated," said Professor Schonfeld, whose collaborators included University of Franche-Comté psychologists Renzo Bianchi and Eric Laurent. "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 . The clinical research on treatments for depression offers solutions that may help workers identified as burned out."

A paper on the study, "Is Burnout a Depressive Disorder? A Reexamination With Special Focus on Atypical Depression," appears in the current issue of "International Journal of Stress Management."


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