Artists, entertainers, writers
These jobs can bring irregular paychecks, uncertain hours, and isolation. Creative people may also have higher rates of mood disorders; about 9% reported an episode of major depression in the previous year. In men, it’s the job category most likely to be associated with an episode of major depression (nearly 7% in full-time workers). “One thing I see a lot in entertainers and artists is bipolar illness,” says Legge. “There could be undiagnosed or untreated mood disorders in people who are artistic…. Depression is not uncommon to those who are drawn to work in the arts, and then the lifestyle contributes to it.”
The demands on teachers seem to be constantly growing. 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,” Willard says. “This can make it difficult for teachers to do their thing and remember the reason they got started in the field.”
Administrative support staff
People in this field 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,” according to Legge. 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.
Maintenance and grounds workers
How would you like to be called on only when something goes wrong? That’s essentially what maintenance people deal with each day. They also have to work odd hours, seasonal or varied schedules, and frequent night shifts. They are often paid little for a tough job that can include cleaning up other people’s messes. “There is also higher turnover. In terms of co-workers, they are often isolated, and it can be dangerous work,” Willard says.
Financial advisors and accountants
Stress. Stress. Stress. Most people don’t like dealing with their own retirement savings. So can you imagine handling thousands or millions of dollars for other people? “There is so much responsibility for other people’s finances and no control of the market,” Legge says. “There is guilt involved, and when (clients) are losing money, they probably have people screaming at them with regularity.”
People who work in sales are No. 10 on the list, though there are a whole host of reasons why the job could contribute to depression. Many salespeople work on commission, meaning you never know exactly when your next paycheck is coming. They may travel, and have to spend time away from home, family, and friends. If they work independently, benefits may also be limited. “This uncertainty of income, tremendous pressure for results, and long hours” can make for a high-stress occupation, Legge says.
Ten things to say, and not to say, to someone who is depressed.
- “You’re not alone in this. I am here for you.” What NOT to say: There’s always someone worse off than you are.
- “You matter. You are important to me.” What NOT to say: No one ever said that life was fair.
- “Let me help. Do you want a hug?” What NOT to say: Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
- “Depression is real. You are not going crazy.” What NOT to say: So you’re depressed. Aren’t you always?
- “There is hope. We are not on this earth to see through one another, but to see one another through.” What NOT to say: Try not to be so depressed.
- ‘You can survive this. When all this is over, I’ll still be here and so will you.” What NOT to say: It’s your own fault.
- “I can’t really understand what you are feeling, but I can offer my compassion.” What NOT to say: Believe me, I know how you feel. I was depressed once for several days.
- “I’m not going anywhere.” What NOT to say: I think your depression is a way of punishing us.
- “I love you.” (Say this only if you mean it.) What NOT to say: Haven’t you grown tired of all this “me, me, me” stuff yet?
- “I’m sorry that you’re in so much pain. I am not going to leave you. I am going to take care of myself, so you don’t need to worry that your pain might hurt me.” What NOT to say: Have you tried chamomile tea?
Don’t stop treatment.
Doctors recommend taking medication for six to nine months after symptoms lift and you start to feel stable. The decision to end therapy or medication should be made with your doctor’s help. “Some drugs, if you go off them, may not work for you again when you go back on them—(there’s no) guarantee that if it worked once, it will work next time,” says Dr. Sanacora. For some people, the best way to prevent a relapse is to continue treatment.