Reducing depression to its clinical stage—to a nosological category—is unwarranted when examining the burnout-depression distinction. Recent factor analytic studies of burnout and depression measures indicate that the discriminant validity of the burnout construct is not satisfactory. Exhaustion—the core and only consensual characteristic of burnout—has been repeatedly found to correlate more strongly with depression (including anhedonia and depressed mood) than with the two other components of burnout (cynicism and professional inefficacy).
Bianchi, Renzo; Schonfeld, Irvin Sam; and Laurent, Eric, "The trouble with burnout: An update on burnout-depression overlap" (2019). CUNY Academic Works.