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These are the jobs most likely to give you depression

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Is your job getting you down? It’s something we often say, but it could actually be true – your job could be genuinely making you depressed. And some jobs - particularly those in the service industry, or which call for face-to-face conact with customer and client - could have the worst negative effects, according to a recent study.

The study looked at 55 different industries, evaluating factors such as psychological distress, work stress, and physical activity. The results, published on NCBI, smash the preconception of high pressure, big money jobs as the most stressful. Instead, the study found that the highest rates of clinical depression were within industries that “require frequent or difficult interactions with the public or clients".

In other words, any job that calls for you to relentlessly smile and put on an act for customers or clients – which is described as “emotional labour”. Arlie Hochschild, author of 1983’s The Managed Heart, defines as “work done with feelings, as part of paid employment”.

According to the study, its findings “support the theory that the stress of emotional labour could contribute to depression.” Anyone who’s ever worked in a shop, waited tables, or dished out exemplary customer service through gritted teeth are sure to understand (that's just about everyone then). 

This follows a study in the Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology which found the 17 jobs most commonly linked with depression:

  1. Transportation driver
  2. Estate agent
  3. Social worker
  4. Manufacturer
  5. Personal services
  6. Legal services
  7. Housekeeper
  8. Membership organisations
  9. Security and commodities brokers
  10. Printing and publishing
  11. Agricultural services
  12. Retail
  13. Electric, gas, and sanitary
  14. Special trade contractors
  15. Petroleum and coal
  16. General merchandise retail
  17. Auto repair

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