Despite much research and awareness, the burnout epidemic is only beginning. Although burnout is often referred to as the disease of the 21st century, it is recorded in the Medical Classification of Diseases as a syndrome of exhaustion, thus not as a disease. This definition will now change into syndrome that results from chronic workplace stress that has not been treated properly once the new Medical Classification of Diseases will be enforced in 2022. According to the definitions, burnout should be related solely to the work environment and should not be connected with experiences in other areas of life.
People affected by burnout are mainly workaholics and perfectionists, people with an unstable self-image and capabilities of productive self-evaluation, who are unable to adapt to the trends of 21st century society. Modern society, governed by neoliberal ideology, brings individualization, internalization, competitiveness, apoliticalness, and thus cruelty to oneself and others. Neoliberal ideology creates neoliberal entities that are key candidates for burnout.
However, research shows that burnout also appears with the unemployed and children. Therefore, we should be looking for causes beyond the work environment. Social circumstances, or neo-liberalism, are the main culprit in the formation of personalities vulnerable to burnout. Therefore, they also need to be addressed on a broader, social level, and not only individually through psychotherapy.