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Teacher Burnout: Depression too?

A new study suggests a significant connection between depression and burnout among primary school teachers. Many of the signs of burnout such as, being more cynical, lacking energy, lacking interest, needing to work harder to accomplish less, or changes in sleep or eating, are also seen in the early onset of depression. This study offers some evidence to support an implied, long standing, qualitative correlation.

Drs. Irvin S. Schonfeld of the City College of New York’s Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership and Renzo Bianchi of the Institute of Work and Organizational Psychology, University of Neuchatel, Switzerland, discovered a significant overlap between burn out and depression.

Their findings looked at survey results from 1,386 pre-k to 12th grade US teachers that were assessing for burn out. they found that 86% of the burnout group met criteria for depression whereas less than 1% of the no burnout group met criteria for depression. Teachers in the burnout group are also found to be more than two times as likely to have history of anxiety. This supports another long-standing correlation between depression and anxiety. This article appears in the Journal of Clinical Psychology. Charles R Davenport Psy.D. LLC provides counseling and therapy services to help teachers and other professionals be aware of burnout, worked to overcome it when it does interfere, and to strive toward avoiding burnout where possible.

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