Tuesday, October 5, 2010

10 Careers With High Rates of Depression

Those of us who work in the health care industry need to remember that workers in the health care industry have some of the highest rates of depression. Why is this the case? Why do physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, therapists, surgeons, and other health care professionals struggle with depression?

Here are some of the reasons why:
  • High-risk and high-stress occupations (when you have a person's life in your hands, that's a lot of stress)
  • Long work hours (how do you like those 12-hr shifts?)
  • Irregular sleep patterns (especially for medical and surgical interns and residents)
  • Social isolation (because you are simply too busy all the time)
  • Dealing with sickness and death (whether you work in the ICU or in a hospice facility, you're dealing with sickness and death all the time)
Here's a snippet from a Health.com article titled, "10 Careers With High Rates of Depression."

“There are certain aspects of any job that can contribute to or exacerbate depression,” says Deborah Legge, PhD, a licensed mental health counselor in Buffalo. "Folks with the high-stress jobs have a greater chance of managing it if they take care of themselves and get the help they need.”

Depression can lead physicians and other health care professionals to make poor decisions. Some get involved with alcohol and substance abuse. Others may fall victim to other types of addictions. Some pursue dangerous outlets to escape their depression. Others feel trapped and disabled.

The AMA/CMA/BMA International Conference on Physician Health 2010 is happening this week. If you suspect that you may be struggling with depression, make sure to seek professional help.

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