The Jobs With The Highest (And Lowest) Depression Rates

mbg Contributor By Emi Boscamp
mbg Contributor
Emi Boscamp is the former News Editor at mindbodygreen. She received a BA in English and minors in Spanish and Art History from Cornell University.

Mondays are generally accepted as the worst day of the week. Your brain clings desperately to the snooze mode of the weekend, but you have to concentrate on the task at hand, and Friday seems too far to fathom. But could it be that it's not Mondays specifically that you hate — it's your job?

A study, published recently in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epistemology, suggests that some jobs have much higher rates of depression than others.

Using data representing about 214,413 western Pennsylvanians employed from 2002 to 2005, the study's authors calculated the incidence of depression across 55 industries. The highest rate of depression (16.2%) was found among bus drivers. The lowest (6.9%) was found among those in "amusement and recreation services," a broadly defined group that includes the sports, fitness, and performing arts industries.

Here are some more of the researcher's findings:

The Industries With The Highest Rates Of Depression

  1. Public transit
  2. Real estate
  3. Social work
  4. Manufacturing
  5. Personal services
  6. Legal services
  7. Publishing

The Industries With The Lowest Rates Of Depression

  1. Recreation services
  2. Highway construction
  3. Coal Mining
  4. Metallurgy
  5. Air travel

As the study's authors admit, the findings are not hard-and-fast, as a couple thousand people in a specific area cannot be used as a national sample. What can be done with these findings, however, is determine the common denominator between all the high-depression industries.

The researchers found that the jobs with the highest rates of depression tended to "require frequent or difficult interactions with the public or clients, and have high levels of stress and low levels of physical activity."

So if you think your job might be taking a toll on your mental health, ask yourself, "Do I have decision-making power?" and "Am I stressed out too much?" If your answers are no and yes, respectfully, it may be time to consider a different industry. While mining and highway construction may not sound all that glamorous, they involve physical activity and hardly any outside communication — which means lower rates of depression.

Don't just succumb to the Monday blues week after week — especially if they turn into Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday blues. Take some action.

(h/t The Atlantic)


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