IATE termin tjedna: Sagorijevanje


This weekÔÇÖs IATE term is ÔÇťburnoutÔÇŁ, a compound word of the past participle ÔÇťburnÔÇŁ and the word ÔÇťoutÔÇŁ, which in this case functions as an adverb. The word describes the difficult situation – in terms of both mental and physical exhaustion – experienced due to specific reasons closely related and deriving from a personÔÇÖs everyday work.

ÔÇťBurnoutÔÇŁ can sometimes be confounded with depression or being overworked. However, burnout bears the characteristics and feelings not only of depression or overwork, but is also characterised by physical and mental exhaustion arising from having to perform professional work tasks. In fact, one synonym that has arisen for burnout syndrome is ÔÇťprofessional exhaustion syndromeÔÇŁ.

How prevalent is burnout? While it is difficult to find exact numbers, academic studies on burnout syndrome can provide some insight. Honkonen et al. (2006) measured burnout prevalence in FinlandÔÇÖs general population.┬á Their study used data from the year 2000 with the sample of subjects being representative of the Finnish population over the age of 30. They found that 25% of individuals had mild burnout and 2.4% had severe burnout. The researchers also found that subjects with burnout had a higher liker likelihood of suffering from a physical illness than those without.

IATE entry burnout
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Etymologically speaking, the verbal phrase ÔÇťburn outÔÇŁ, which converted into the compound noun ÔÇťburnoutÔÇŁ first appeared as early as the 1590s. The initial meaning of the verbal phrase was ÔÇťburn until fuel is exhaustedÔÇŁ. The first use of this phrase in connection with the burnout syndrome as understood today appears to have been used in reference to electrical circuits.

In the 1970s the American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger first coined the word ÔÇťburnoutÔÇŁ to refer to the nurses and doctors who sacrificed their own wellbeing in order to help their patients, and as a result ended up feeling ÔÇťburnt outÔÇŁ themselves.

It is unsurprising that humans are seen metaphorically as electrical circuits, since humans too must spend energy to fulfil specific tasks. The more complex and demanding the tasks are that they need to fulfil, the higher the risk that a human being runs out of energy. The question therefore remains: how can we continue to find energy when our modern lives demand that we accomplish increasingly complex tasks?



Depression: What is Burnout? Informed Health Organization ÔÇô NCBI-Available at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov [Accessed 16 July 2020].

Online Cambridge Dictionary. 2020. Meaning of Distance in English by Online Cambridge Dictionary [ONLINE] Available at:  https:// dictionary.cambridge.org /dictionary/ english /distance?q= BURNOUT [Accessed 16 July 2020].

Online Etymology Dictionary. 2020. Learn, Origin and meaning of the word Burnout by Online Etymology Dictionary. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.etymonline.com/word/Burnout [Accessed 16 July 2020].

Honkonen, T., Ahola, K., Pertovaara, M., Isomets├Ą, E., Kalimo, R., Nykyri, E., … & L├Ânnqvist, J. 2006. The association between burnout and physical illness in the general populationÔÇöresults from the Finnish Health 2000 Study. Journal of psychosomatic research,┬á61(1), 59-66. [Accessed 17 July 2020].

Maria Papamargariti picturePisalo je┬áMarija Papamargariti, Gr─Źki i engleski filolog, pisac u podru─Źju dje─Źje knji┼żevnosti.┬á