At Work

4 Industries with the Highest Depression Rates

Whether it’s being diagnosed more often or the mental state of human beings has declined in recent years, depression rates in the United States are rising. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that major depression was one of the most prevalent health disorders in the United States in 2017. Their studies reveal that 16.2 million adults had at least one major depressive episode last year, representing 6.7 percent of all U.S. adults.
Depressive episodes can come on suddenly without prompting, but often, they’re provoked by your environment. Work can be a key trigger for depression, even in those who have never experienced significant depression before. Research shows that depression is one of the top three workplace problems in the nation with three percent of short-term disability absences resulting from it.
Avoiding the wrong career, some of which are statistically more likely to cause depression than others, can be key in controlling your depression. Here are a few industries with high depression rates:
1. Firefighter
A report from InMyArea revealed that firefighters often experience significant mental health issues related to the difficult emotional nature of their work. They’re often called to the scene of gruesome accidents, which can be extremely difficult to emotionally process.
About 37 percent of firefighters deal with PTSD, which is accompanied by depression and anxiety 85 percent of the time. As a result, suicide rates are rising. The report showed that 47 percent have considered committing suicide, 19 percent have made plans to do so, and 16 percent have attempted it. The rates of suicide in firefighting is about twice the rate of most industries.
Try Instead: Florists have one of the most relaxing, stress-free jobs in the nation. They create smiles, cheer up the sick, comfort the mourning, and feed romance. Plus, working with nature all day is good for the soul.
2. City Passenger Transit
A New York Post report says that local/intercity passenger transit workers, such as bus drivers and train conductors, are the most depressed in the nation with 16.2 percent reporting feeling majorly depressed because of the job.
Despite being surrounded by thousands of people every day, it’s a lonely job. You spend hours in solitary thought, and when customers do speak to you, their comments are often unpleasant. The low pay doesn’t help either.
Try Instead: Most administrative assistants enjoy a competitive wage while working in a low-stress environment.
3. Manufacturing
Manual labor jobs of all kinds tend to experience high rates of depression, and manufacturing is at the top of the list. According to Mental Health America research, more than half of all employees in the manufacturing industry said they felt underappreciated and replaceable. Most reported constantly looking for a better job.
They also felt that their long, odd working hours negatively affected their personal relationships, creating problems at home. A healthy home environment is key in working through depression, so the negative correlation is believed to increase rates of depression.
Try Instead: If you’re good with your hands, an electrician is an excellent job alternative. They enjoy higher pay than those in the manufacturing industry and feel more valued and appreciated by each customer they serve.
4. Real Estate
It might surprise you to learn that real estate agents also experience high rates of depression. According to the aforementioned New York Times report, just under 16 percent of realtors said they’ve experienced major depression from their line of work.
Depressive episodes in this industry likely result from significant challenges that these professionals face on a daily basis. It takes time and energy to sell houses, and you face a lot of rejection. There’s also great fear and anxiety associated with helping people make such a life-changing investment, and many realtors find the emotional toll is too great.
Try Instead: With just a few months of training, you can become a dental hygienist. The hours are great, you get to work with great people, the pay is good, and there’s very little stress involved.
Your career won’t necessarily prevent you from experiencing depression, but it can help to reduce the negative symptoms. For everything else, there are wonderful treatment options available. There’s no shame in asking for help, and doing so can set you up for a life of happiness, despite mental challenges.

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