Work Causes Depression Says Study: What Do You Think?

Today I was watching the news and they had a story about a recent study that has shown that about one in six Australian’s can attribute their depression to their work. You can read the news article here.

I found this pretty interesting. I have never really considered that work would cause people to spiral into clinical depression. But I could be wrong.

I would love to hear what your opinions on this study are. Have you ever been seriously depressed because of work? Or has work magnified something that was already there?

What do you think?

top image:Creative Commons License photo credit: azharc

17 thoughts on “Work Causes Depression Says Study: What Do You Think?

  1. i dont find it that surprising really, that people would rate work as a cause of serious depression. we spend so much of our lives at work. there is so much pressure to achieve. and there is more uncertainty than ever.. not to mention workplace bullying. work sux man!

  2. I have never been depressed, but I think that if your job seemed to have no meaning behind it, then it may make someone depressed. Not that any job is meaningless, but there are less meaningful jobs than others.

  3. I also think it’s more closely tied to a lack of meaning instead of work itself. How easy would it be to become depressed if you didn’t have to work, but also didn’t have anything to work towards?

  4. The photo is of a shoe shiner in India I think. I saw a lot of guys there in India – the so called lower class – doing horrible jobs which I think would be pretty depressing. They get treated like animals and have no possibility of moving up in their career. Then again, maybe the pursuit of moving up in the world and not achieving it causes stress? I have often thought about that.

    TDM

  5. Sara I wrote my comment before I saw yours! Very similar.

    Sometimes I think “dead end” jobs are just as depressing as “career move” jobs that don’t work the way you want or, like my buddy tells me, you achieve and realize it wasn’t what you thought it was.

    TDM

  6. I recently watched The Pursuit of Happyness. I think that work only causes depression if you’re not motivated enough – and if you take your job for granted. But, that’s just my opinion.

    I think that moving up the chain of command does have its pressures, which could possibly cause some depression – but I would also believe that the fulfillment and achievements the job bring with it make you stronger – and at the end of the day, much more pleased with what you’ve done with your life.

  7. That is an important point Herbert, having no regrets.

    There is a famous buddhist yogi called Milarepa who said “My religion is not buddhism, my religion is to die without regrets.”

    Its a good point. At the end will you look back on a angry, unsatisfied, compassionless life or something that was truly helpful?

    TDM

  8. My opinion is this if you love what you are doing then you would enjoy and find the excitement of growth and happiness. But then what is happiness? Quite a subjective matter to each of us. Overall, I think depression is not the absolute reason associated with work. I think being depressed lies within our minds– you choose to be or not to be depressed. If you add the idea of seeing work not as monetary benefit but rather than ‘helping others’ and seeing work as holistic approach in serving each of us as functional beings, then the cases of depression may reduce because you have the concept benevelance. But then this is the other question– creating awareness for people to realize and understand their emotions, feelings and attitudes towards this view…:-)

  9. The amount of homework has made me seriously stressed out but never to the point of an emotional breakdown or such.
    School can help nudge me into a depression but the actual root causes of my depression tend to take place either in my home or at another building. For example, if I’m already upset about a home illness the pressure of good grades and social interaction can gravely add to it.

  10. That is true Loi. I think you are right. The root causes are probably elsewhere and not actually in the work.

    Thanks for your comments the past few days I have enjoyed them.

    TDM

  11. Interesting post, here is my view.

    You are either in boat 1 or 2.

    Boat 1. You do work just to survive, to pay bills, keep your house, and you usually hate it. Hence, the stress and etc.

    Boat 2. You work at your passion and it does not feel like work because it is natural and enjoyable to you.

    Boat 1 – maybe at least 80% of people

    Boat 2 – The remainder, 20%

  12. I think that it comes down to not having the choice of doing what u really want to in life…u have to get a job to pay the bills…the most paying jobs are really not what most of us want to do…alot of people would rather be teachers or artists but we cant cz we need money to survive…

    if ur happiness lies in ur life not related to work, and u have to spend all ur time at work just for the money, then that can definately lead to depression.

  13. Very true work is always depressing at least in IT (computers). It’s not the job the work it self can be great but it’s the expectation of time and commitment. Not only do you spend 12 hours there a day but then they expect you to spend your free time constantly upgrading your skills and doing extra work to boot. Go out at night , no becuase your too tired , or they have you working from home or staying late, a couple more hours there and and somtimes weekends. Your salary so it’s not over time becuase you want the money it’s what is expected not even a thank you becuase it’s manditory and if you don’t your fired. So you have 4 – 6 days a month of free time. Not even enough to run errands and clean your house. If your already married the person become a stranger or devorces you.

    Taxes bills health care and more bills take most your money and then your employer says hey look were paying you x amount and expect you to jump and run like a dog when we say as much as we say infact just get used to always working you don’t need all that sleep anyway that’s why we have coffee you can do on 5-6 hours , so what if commute and 1 each way in traffic. Then if your department isn’t busy one week they will make you stay anyway so the other poeple don’t feel bad that they have to stay late. You can’t even ask for less money and more time if that’s what you would like. It’s not an option as they will own all of you or want nothing to do with you.

    I have seen people come to work sick or take 1 or 2 days off then they die of pneumonia. Who cares what your body needs you work makes the rules not biology sit there at your desk usless with fever or just croak and we will hire another.

    Bring a docotors note , sure that’s fine and we fired you for somthing else 3 weeks later. Not working late every night fired because they felt like it and they will wink wink nod nod shoot down your next offer when they call for a refernce. Code word this , under the table that no one even obeys the law it’s just talk and the unwritten rules are there and they say you a slave. Then when you don’t have a job your broke. You spend your whole life waiting to have a life then croak.

    They raised the retirement age when slightly more of the pathetic number of workers actually made it to 60. Just wait till your 65 then do all the things you want except your already dead or so old you can’t do much for long.

    This country has to keep the economy strong so there will be jobs , and people can work to buy stuff and then rent goods and bills go up and up , which makes more jobs to work longer and buy the same stuff at a higher price. It’s cycle of waste and slavery to keep the wealthy earning and everyone else toiling. Lots of people don’t want to spend 20 years paying off student loans so they can slave so 30k to 50k while trying to buy a house for 30 years. MAbey they want to do things besides sit in a cubicle or punch widgets but they won’t get paid for it.

    How many years should you be paying for a house ? Wook , plaster cement plumbing. We have been mass producing cookie cutter cheapo material houses for decades and do they get cheaper ? No. Humans used to put them up in a year and be done, but now it’s not just a roof over your head it’s supposed to cost piles of money that takes your whole life to pay off. When housing prices go down everyone panics, oh no the value of my half a million dollar investment woe is me , the maket needs to pick up until not a single person can have a place to live they can really own while they are alive.Look at Gas prices back down to sane amounts supposedly as soon as the economey falters. And the oil companies are cutting production to try and hold the prices least they get to cheap.

    It’s not enough this country has so many who want to be greedy and the all the wealth in the top 1 percent but your part of the system and have not the choice to work a little less and live a little more humble you have to support the excess and consumerism of the whole. The economy is good then you can’t afford anything and when it’s bad employers even in areas not hit or when prospering still say look say bad economy “It’s a buyers market for you employees seeling your time so bend over ha ha here it comes again , forgot your benifit and learn to eat dinner at your desk plebe.

    You know in spain they work half as much as us , take naps , vacation and pretty much spend half the time working every day. People actually work when they are at work with 100% productivity , rahter then just predending to not be not half asleep, burned out stressed and sick. Amazingly the lights still stay on and everyone is happy and enjoys their life and still gets stuff done.

  14. Yes, for me, work does cause severe depression. Before I have to go back, I’m going to slit my wrists. It’s either that or become a lifetime slave.

  15. When i used to have go to work everyday i would get so depressed that i would crawl in a ball and want to die. It may start to wear at you mentally to the point where may have to get treatment before you go insane. That is why going to god is the only strenght i have to find that inner me and knowing that someone will give me that strenght i need and cares. I use to have to work on a farm but became so phycotic from depression that i had to quit the job and do volunteer work a few times a week just enough stay busy to the point where i felt good enough about myself and enough from where i didn’t burn out from depression. When you have to work day after day after day for a whole year doing hard physical labor it probly will eat you away mentaly and make you want to crawl in a hole and die. I just turned 19 and i found out that reality is really when everyone has to get up for work everyday and do the same thing day after day after day and it makes me so depressed that i feel like i have find that inner me and not care what other evil people think so that i can have some piece of mind. I felt like everyone was depressed but of course i felt like I was weaker than them but i think not everyone is like that so it makes me feel like it may not be the reality that i thought it was. It may have started when i became mentally ill in highschool from marijuana and had to drop out because i was so depressed and phycotic. I would walk out of school during classes and go crawl behind some bushes and just lay there till school was over until my mom would have to pick me up.

  16. This is a really good post describing how stressful IT worker’s jobs are. I am off having a nervous breakdown because of the stress.

  17. Wow, that post is what is going through my and many of my friends heads… It’s like the great unspoken, everyone knows it’s happening. It’s starting to get really bad 🙁 I wonder how far it will go before the lower middle class will revolt in australia… The gap between wealthy and poor is disgusting and will backfire on the wealthy one day when enough people talk about what’s going on and it reaches critical mass.

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