Friday, August 03, 2007
Job Stress Causes Depression In Younger Workers
A New Zealand study called "the first of its kind" psychologically assessed a group of 1,000 people and found that 1 in 20 ran the risk of depression or severe anxiety every year during the early stages of their careers. The authors consider this study supplemental to previous European and American studies that have shown "cases of depression" to have risen in the last twenty years as the result of work stress. Bosses should perhaps reconsider the next time they crack the whip, as depression and anxiety cost 12 billion pounds (or 24 billion dollars) of lost revenue every year in Britain alone.
All of the subjects were 32 and participants in a longitudinal study of mental health. According to the link below, the "study revealed a marked increase in cases of major depressive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder among people in highly demanding jobs, with 14% of women affected and 10% of men." Nearly half of these cases were attributed to workplace stress. Study director Dr. Maria Melchior said that "work stress appears to bring on diagnosable forms of depression and anxiety in previously healthy young workers; in fact the occurrence is two times higher than among workers whose jobs are less demanding."
Not all of these "highly demanding" jobs were in the white collar world. Apparently, head chefs suffered most, "probably because they had to cope with constant inflexible deadlines, and very public failure for any mistakes they made." Shades of Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares!
"Stressful jobs double risk of depression for young workers" from The Guardian