The disorder caused by mental overload at work and not being able to disconnect now has a name: sisifemia

A woman looks at the mountain of papers next to her. (Istock)

Pursuing unattainable goals or constant growth is exhausting both physically and mentally, especially when it happens repeatedly in the workplace. In fact, there are so many workers who suffer from this exhaustion that medicine He has already given it a name: sisifemia, a term coined in 2022 by doctors José Manuel Vicente and Araceli López-Guillén.

It is a health disorder caused by an excessive workload and, unlike burnout or “burnout worker syndrome” which combines a mixture of a feeling of generalized exhaustion, demotivation and worse work performance, in this case derives from the obsession with growing at work and want to do everything well.

You may be interested in: Four months pending a kidney operation because the La Paz Hospital in Madrid runs out of instruments available: “I can’t live like this, I use a cane”

“It is the fatigue of the tireless worker, the physical and mental exhaustion of an employee who is forced to respond to unattainable objectives, either because it is imposed by the employee himself or the company”, through long and exhausting work days, points out to Infobae Spain José Manuel Vicente, director of the Chair of Expert Evaluative Medicine at the Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia (UCAM), who also urges companies to take measures to prevent this type of situation.

The term is inspired by Greek myth of Sisyphus, condemned by the gods to lose his sight and push a rock to the top of a mountain, from where it will fall again and again. For this reason, Vicente considers that the worker who suffers from sisifemia “is condemned daily to an excessive mental load in order to be able to carry out his work.”

You may be interested: Spain recovered its pre-pandemic GDP in 2022: the economy grew 5.8% last year, more than expected, according to the INE review

The people who are at greatest risk of suffering from sisifemia are those with a high level of demand at work, “those who are perfectionists, self-demanding, committed and competitive” and who, in short, “are obsessed with work because they have no choice.” remedy to be able to meet these high objectives,” clarifies the expert.

Thus, sisifemia occurs mainly in activities health, financial, consulting, communication, law firms and senior positions in the Administration, as well as in research and teaching. They are jobs, in general, “with a high mental load, with responsibilities, and where there is hardly any rest or the day has to be extended to attend to the daily task,” indicates the also head of the Medical Unit of the Disability Assessment team of the INSS in Guipúzcoa, although sisifemia is also common among freelance workers and can affect people in training stages.

Taking into account the phenetic pace of life of society, it is not surprising that this health disorder “is on the rise.”

A worker looks tired in front of the computer.
A worker looks tired in front of the computer.

Sisifemia can lead to psychological or physical illnesses with serious consequences such as “depressive symptoms, anxiety or sleep disorders”, as it works like a “chain”, adds the doctor, where “tension and stress remain beyond the day. work” and, when accumulated over months, generates exhaustion.

The alarms should go off when the sleep disorder “is continuous, not something punctual, and is related to work”, when we have stopped doing leisure activities or considerably reduced our social relationships. “There we must stop and ask for professional help to change our behavior.“Advises Vicente after seeing how many workers have ended up on sick leave or leaving their jobs as a result of this physical and mental exhaustion.

Finally, the expert recommends to companies the adaptation of the workload to the professional staff it has, as well as “limiting the volume of work and excessive mental load” and implementing the necessary changes in the organization of work with the aim of “minimizing psychosocial risks.” ”. At the political level It also highlights the need to implement strategies for the prevention, promotion and health care of workers’ mental health, as well as policies for the management and control of working time.

infobae Sp

Back to top button