E E Smith

Not Born Yesterday

Ten Careers with High Rates of Depression

How Depressing is Your Job?

Posted Nov 24, 2010

As if the holiday season were not depressing enough for some of us, (me, for instance!) along comes a new study that suggests we might also have chosen a career with a high rate of depression. My chosen career (Writer) is number five on the list. What's yours?

The study lists the top ten careers with high rates of depression as follows:

(1) Nursing/ Home Care: Very often people in this kind of work receive no feedback and have no rapport with their sick charges, which can lead to loneliness and depression.

(2) Food Service: The main complaints here are rude patrons, less than sympathetic employers and low wages.

(3) Social Work: Dealing with abused children and families in turmoil can result in depression for the social worker in these areas.

(4) Health Care: Stress, as well as depression, is common to people in this career because of the long hours involved and knowing that patients' lives are dependent upon them.

(5) Writers, Artists, Entertainers: Those of us in this category -- so-called "creative" people -- complain of irregular income, odd hours and isolation. Depression leads some to become bipolar.

(6) Teachers: Why isn't this occupation higher on the list? Just thinking about all the things teachers have to put up with -- demanding administrators, cranky parents, unruly kids, and long hours -- is depressing.

(7) Administrative Support Staff: This can be frustrating and depressing work because the demands of the job are high and the opportunity for control is low.

(8) Maintenance/ Ground Keeper: Pity the poor man (or woman) who must answer the call when machinery breaks down, plumbing backs up, or moles invade the lawn. Always cleaning up someone else's mess has to be depressing.

(9) Financial Advisors/ Accountants: Those in this category often handle millions of dollars of other people's money without any control over the market, resulting in too much responsibility put on their shoulders. Very stressful.

(10) Sales: Long hours, surly customers, and uncertainty of income put people in this occupation at risk for depression.

Looking over the list, I see that the legal profession is conspicuously absent from the ten most stressful careers. That strikes me as odd. It has been my experience that a law office is one of the most stressful (and often depressing) places to be found anywhere. Not only are lawyers often responsible for their clients' livelihood, freedom -- and sometimes their very lives -- they themselves can be sued for malpractice. How depressing is that?

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