Younger People Reporting Job Related Depression
> 8/1/2007 1:04:32 PM

We are all susceptible to bouts of sadness every now and then.Difficult stretches can often render us distressed and agitated. But what happens when your job related stress goes beyond causing agitation and begins to compromise your mental health? With these and other questions in mind, researchers at Otago University set out to find a link between high pressure jobs and the impact they have on worker's mental health. Published in the UK journal, Psychological Medicine, the study seemed to suggest the obvious- a stressful job leads to stressful worker. However, researchers also found more young adults were reporting first-time episodes of depression and anxiety due to their stress-filled careers.

Of the nearly 900 32-year-olds surveyed, 14 percent of women and 10 percent of men revealed that job stress was the cause of their first experience with anxiety or depression. The types of employment related stressors ranged from working long hours to lack of adequate supervision and direction in completing job related tasks. The study also found women who navigated through hectic, high-demand jobs were 75% more likely to report depression and anxiety than women who didn't face these burdens. Men with stressful jobs clocked a little higher with an 80% rate of developing depression or anxiety compared with those who didn't report any psychological job pressures. Both genders also reported higher incidences of depression and anxiety when social support was not readily available.

These results paint a clear picture, and the important question remaining is how can people lower their stress and chances of developing anxiety disorders in the face of these job stresses? Most experts believe the answer to lowering the pressure of a highly stressful job is in workers' approach. The saying, "don't bite off more than you can chew," could lend itself to a possible remedy. Other experts believe companies should make more of an effort in implementing policies that target employee burn-out. Co-author Richie Poulton briefly shared his take on the study findings with Yahoo News, saying:

"More people are being exposed to stress at work and stress rates have increased in the last 10 years. We now know that work-related stress is associated with psychiatric health problems that increase health-care and societal costs and reduce work productivity."

With many of these young workers reporting first time depression and anxiety symptoms, it is imperative they take action immediately. After an initial episode of depression, there is a 50% reoccurrence rate following remission. This percentage jumps to 75% following the second episode and a startling 90% following the third. In addition, as we reported two days ago, stress can also harm a person's personal interactions. The results of this survey should inform and not alarm. Everyone wants to do the best possible job they can in the tireless climb up the proverbial ladder of success. But when the costs begin to outweigh the benefits, it's time to take the preventative steps necessary by making a change.

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