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Bored sick in paradise?

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If your summer holiday was spoilt because you fell ill soon after stepping off the plane, you could have been suffering from leisure sickness. People who experience symptoms of headache or migraine, fatigue, muscular pains and nausea while on vacation could be among the 3 per cent of the population who feel under the weather as soon as they stop working.

Dutch psychologist Ad Vingerhoets identified the condition around 10 years ago among high achievers who had difficulty making the transition from work to leisure time. Cases had generally suffered from leisure sickness for more than 10 years and the onset was associated with stressful conditions.

Anyone working in the fast changing and constantly stimulating world of pharmacy is unlikely to suffer from the similar condition of underload syndrome, however. This is defined as ill health or depression caused by a lack of challenges or stimulation at work, where sufferers are literally bored sick. Symptoms of underload syndrome include headaches, fatigue, recurrent infections and mild depression.

Researchers at the University of Northumbria found that bored staff take more sick days. Boredom has a similar effect on the body to over-work, increasing stress levels, but busy workers are often happier than their bored colleagues. Employees with “too little work” are likely to report lower job satisfaction than those with too much work.

Pharmacists are probably even less likely to suffer from paradise syndrome. Sufferers of this syndrome feel dissatisfied and even ill, despite having achieved their dreams. Dave Stewart, formerly of The Eurythmics, first coined the phrase when he self-diagnosed the condition following a long spell of ill health he attributed to his wealthy lifestyle.

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From: Beyond pharmacy blog

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