Distinguishing Depression from Burnout: Implications for Impactful Interventions for Long-Term Improvement

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Behrend, Dawn
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Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Other social sciences::Library and information science , Burnout--Psychology , Academic Librarians--Psychology
Abstract: Burnout is typified by a sense of exhaustion, cynicism, and lack of professional efficacy that occurs pursuant to an individual experiencing prolonged stress and a perceived inability to meet the demands of their job over time. Burnout can be difficult to differentiate from clinical depression, and fear of stigma from disclosing a mental illness in academia can be a potential barrier to seeking necessary interventions. However, correctly identifying and providing the appropriate interventions to manage burnout versus depression can have a significant impact on the well-being of both the individual and their work organization. This chapter explores the manifestation of burnout in academic librarians, ways in which librarians can better determine if they are experiencing burnout or depression, recommended interventions based upon this distinction, and reasons why making this determination is so critical for both librarians and librarianship.