Here are seven fields (out of 21 major job categories) in which full-time workers are most likely to report an episode of major depression in a given year:
Administrative support staff can suffer from a classic case of high demand, low control. They are on the front line, taking orders from all directions. But they are also at the bottom of the totem pole in terms of control and everything filters down. They can have unpredictable days and may not be acknowledged for all of the work that they do to make life easier for everyone else.
Teachers seem to be under constantly growing demand. Many work after school and then take work home. In many areas, they learn to do a lot with a little. There are pressures from many different audiences—the kids, their parents, and the schools trying to meet standards, all (of which) have different demands. This can make it difficult for teachers to do their thing and remember the reason they got started in the field.
Artists and entertainers endure irregular paychecks, uncertain hours, and isolation. Depression is not uncommon to those who are drawn to work in the arts, and the lifestyle contributes to it. One thing seen a lot in entertainers and artists is bipolar illness. There could be undiagnosed or untreated mood disorders in people who are artistic.
Health-care workers (including doctors, nurses, therapists, and other health professionals) might end up giving a lot without saving a little for themselves. They can have long, irregular hours and days in which other people’s lives are literally in their hands. Every day they are seeing sickness, trauma, and death and dealing with family members of patients, putting damper on one’s outlook on the whole that the world — in other words, the stress can be off the charts.
Social workers and others in the “caring professions” are the brink of every imaginable human crisis often 24-7. Combined with bureaucratic red tape, can be stressful and demanding. There can also be a culture that says that to do a good job, you have to work really hard and often make sacrifices. Because social workers work with people who are so needy, it can be hard to not sacrifice too much to the job and burn out pretty quickly.
Food service staff often get low pay and can have exhausting jobs in which the have to always take orders and always be “on.” While 10% of workers in general reported an episode of major depression in the past year, almost 15% of women in this field did so. People can be really rude and there is a lot of physical exertion. When people are depressed, it is hard to have energy and motivation.
Nursing home/child-care workers report a bout of major depression of 13% (it’s 7% for the general population.) A typical day can include feeding, bathing, and caring for others who are often incapable of expressing gratitude or appreciation because they are too young, ill or socially incapable. Seeing people sick and not getting a lot of positive reinforcement can lead to unsually high stress.