People who tend to the elderly, change diapers and serve up food and drinks have the highest rates of depression among US workers.
Overall, 7% of full-time workers battled depression in the
past year, according to a government report available Saturday.
Women were more likely than men to have had a major bout of
depression, and younger workers had higher rates of depression than
their older colleagues.
Almost 11% of personal care workers - which include child
care and helping the elderly and severely disabled with their daily
needs - reported depression lasting two weeks or longer.
During such episodes there is loss of interest and pleasure, and at
least four other symptoms surface, including problems with sleep,
eating, energy, concentration and self-image.
Workers who prepare and serve food - cooks, bartenders, waiters and
waitresses - had the second highest rate of depression among full-time
employees at 10.3%.
In a tie for third were health care workers and social workers at
The best jobs to have
The lowest rate of depression, 4.3%, occurred in the job
category that covers engineers, architects and surveyors.
US government officials tracked depression within 21 major occupational
categories. They combined data from 2004 through 2006 to estimate episodes of depression within the past year. That information came from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which registers lifetime and past-year depression bouts.
Depression leads to $30 billion to $44 billion ($21 billion to $31
billion) in lost productivity annually, said the report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The report
was available Saturday on the agency's Web site.
The various job categories tracked could be quite broad, with
employees grouped in the same category seemingly having little in common.
For example, one category included workers in the arts, media,
entertainment and sports. In the personal care category, a worker caring for toddlers at a daycare centre would have quite a different job from a nursing aide who helps an older person live at home rather than in a nursing home.
Just working full-time would appear to be beneficial in preventing
depression. The overall rate of depression for full-time workers (7%) compares with the 12.7% rate registered by those who are unemployed. – (Sapa-AP)
Work pressure sparks blues