Do Psychologists get Depressed?

This blog will help you get the answer to the most asked question; Do psychologists get Depressed? and you will also know about all the other mental health issues faced by the psychologists such as Anxiety, Stress, and even Suicidality.

Do Psychologists get Depressed?

Yes, Psychologists can get depressed as they are also human beings like others. Depression is a mood disorder that can make you feel sad and even not interested in life. There are various reasons for depression, any stressful life event can act as a trigger for depression.

What is Depression?

Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical condition that has a negative impact on how someone feels, thinks, and behaves. It can cause a slew of mental and physical issues, as well as a reduction in your capacity to operate at work and at home.

Symptoms of Depression:

Symptoms of depression can range from moderate to severe and are listed below;

  • Feeling of sadness and depressed mood
  • Lost of interest in pleasurable activities
  • Appetite change (Weight gain or loss)
  • Trouble in sleeping or excessive sleeping
  • Fatigue (loss of energy)
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Disturbed thinking and decision making skills
  • Thoughts of sucide

For a diagnosis of depression, symptoms must endure at least two weeks and show a change in previous level of functioning.
Do Psychologists get Depressed?

Mental Health Issues in Psychologists:

Psychology practitioners can also get affected by mental illness. Psychologists are at risk for mental health issues, according to large surveys. Some common mental health issues faced by psychologists are listed below;

  • Depression
  • Fear of failure
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Suicidality

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

What do researchers say?

Psychologists can also get depressed, different studies indicate that psychologists can also get affected by various mental illnesses such as depression and fear of failures. Life satisfaction is directly linked to how one feels about his workaday lives, feelings of failure and sadness may go hand in hand. 

Depression and Feeling of failure:

A recent study done by British Psychological Society found that 46 percent of Psycho-therapists and psychologists suffered from depression and 49.5 percent of respondents said they felt like failures. 

It’s much easier to blame the client for not being ready for change than it is to blame oneself for failing to better the lives of clients. Nonetheless, the responsible therapist will continue to feel like a failure for failing to overcome client resistance and better their life.

Depression and Suicidality:

Pope and Tabachnick (1994) showed that the majority of participants in a nationwide sample of 800 psychologists had been in therapy, and that 61 percent of those had experienced at least one episode of clinical depression. Over one-fourth of respondents (29%) said they had felt suicidal, and nearly 4% said they had attempted suicide.

Similarly, Gilroy, Carroll, and Murra (2002) discovered that 62 percent of respondents self-identified as depressed in a sample of over 1000 randomly selected counselling psychologists. Suicidal ideation or activity were reported by 42 percent of those who had depressive symptoms.

Depression, Anxiety and Suicide ideation:

In APA Colleague Assistance and Wellness Survey of 2009, 40-60% of responding practitioners said burnout, anxiety, or depression had caused at least some interruption in their professional functioning. 18 percent admitted to having suicide ideation as a result of personal or professional difficulties or obstacles.

Stress and Coping:

Clinical and other psychologist’s duties expose them to a variety of stressors that can make coping difficult and have an impact on their overall health (Berjot, Altintas, Grebot, & Lesage. 2017)

Do Psychologists get Depressed?

How to deal with Mental Health issues?

There are different intervention techniques used to deal with mental health issues like Depression, Stress, Anxiety and suicide idealation. Some of the techniques are;

  • Intervention Counselling
  • Psychological Interventions

Intervention Counselling:

For a multitude of reasons, counselling is an excellent intervention strategy. To begin, a mental health expert, such as a qualified counsellor, can guide you and your loved one through difficult conversations in a secure setting.

In addition, intervention counselling in an inpatient treatment programme might include therapies that address emotional, mental, and behavioural issues, such as:

  • Individualised Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Group therapy

Patients will learn good coping techniques for dealing with stress as well as how to manage their mental health symptoms in general through counselling.

Psychological Intervention:

Psychological therapies, like counselling interventions, use evidence-based strategies to assist patients in recovering from mental health issues. Psychological therapies, on the other hand, work to aid the patient’s long-term healing. This is especially critical for persons who suffer from both mental health and substance abuse issues.

Psychological therapies use a variety of therapy approaches to get to the base of the problem, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)
  • Medication evaluation and management
  • Psychotherapy
  • Trauma Therapy

Self- Help material for depression:

There are numerous self-help books available for the treatment of depression. There is little concrete proof of their usefulness for the vast majority of them. Patients often prefer a self-help approach, and there are currently a variety of self-help books on the market, however few have been scientifically tested in trials.  Several systematic reviews have been conducted that show the potential advantages of  bibliotherapy (reading self help books) for a variety of diseases, including depression.

The self-help method works well with cognitive behavioural therapy, which encourages patients to work outside of sessions to challenge problematic attitudes and behaviours. There is a rising interest in literature on computerised cognitive behavioural therapy, but it is still a restricted choice at the moment.

According to a study done by the Reading Agency and described by the Independent, reading for pleasure can boost self-esteem, alleviate depression symptoms, improve interpersonal connections, and reduce worry and tension.

Conclusion:

Psychologists are also human beings and can suffer from different psychological issues such as depression, stress, anxiety and sometimes suicidality due to the professional and personal conflicts same as others. Different  researchers identified depression, stress and burnout among psychologists. 

There are various psychological interventions such as counselling (i.e one to one counselling sessions and group counselling sessions) and therapies like CBT, psychotherapy and sometimes medications are used to treat these psychological issues. Self-help materials are also effective to deal with mental health issues like depression, anxiety and stress.

What we recommend for depression

Professional counselling

If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling could be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Do Psychologists get Depressed?

Are psychologists more prone to depression?

Yes, psychologists can also get affected by depression due to the anxiety and fear of failure while working with the client’s mental health issues. Some mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, stress and suicidality, are not resistant to psychology practitioners who give services for them. 

Do psychologists have mental problems?

Yes, psychologists may have mental health issues as they are also human beings with emotions, so they can also suffer from emotional disturbance due to the personal and professional challenges which can lead them to different psychological illnesses such as depression, stress and even suicidality.

Are psychologists often depressed?

Psychologists do get depressed due to their professional and personal issues. According to the large American poll, published in 1994, 61% of psychologists are clinically depressed, with 29% having suicidal ideation. 

Does being a psychologist make you crazy?

No, being a psychologist does not make you feel crazy although it can provide you with some fascinating insights on how your consciousness functions. 

Why is being a Psychologist bad?

Being a psychologist can be bad  because every psychologist is at risk for occupational stress due to the nature of their employment. The connection between events in a psychologist’s personal and professional lives is bound to cause stress, presumably distress, and potentially impairment over time.

What are the disadvantages of being a psychologist?

There are various disadvantages of being a psychologist such as emotional strain, possibility of violent clients, unofficial working hours, isolation in practice, extensive training, education and research work.

What is the hardest thing about being a psychologist?

Despite the obvious benefits of being a psychologist, some elements of the field are challenging. Feelings of helplessness, the stress of dealing with client’s problems, the tough educational requirements, and the laborious nature of billing for payment are among the most difficult aspects of working as a psychologist.

Is being a psychologist mentally hard?

The most rewarding aspect of being a psychologist is frequently the most difficult aspect of being a psychologist and it is assisting individuals in overcoming and coping with their mental and emotional difficulties. Dealing with other people’s difficulties on a daily basis is difficult and often results in depression, anxiety and stress in the psychologists themselves.

What are the problems psychologists face?

Psychologists are like everyone else, they suffer from personal challenges such as grief, relationship troubles, and stress. Emotional stress encountered by clinical psychologists when personal difficulties and professional practice collide.

What do I love about being a psychologist?

What I do is something I really enjoy! Being a therapist is more than a profession for me; it reflects a basic part of my personality that appreciates getting to know individuals on a personal level. As a therapist, I assist clients in overcoming personal obstacles, easing emotional burdens, and empowering them to achieve mental wellness.

What type of person is best suited to be a psychologist?

Personal traits can be inherited or learned. Many of the interpersonal skills you look for in a friend, coach, or mentor are present in successful psychologists. They are friendly, personable, supportive, and genuinely interested in your success. In order to counsel clients, psychologists must also have the necessary training and credentials.

What are the positives of being a psychologist?

There are different positive aspects of being a psychologist such as helping others, opportunity of working with different people, ability to work for yourself, lots of career options, flexible work hours, potential of earning high salaries and job satisfaction.

Are self-help books effective to deal with Depression?

Self-help books, according to a review of the scientific literature, are more effective at teaching us new life skills such as assertiveness, problem-solving, and even tidiness. That’s great news for everyone, because we can all benefit from learning new skills to help us get through life.

What is the risk of dying by suicide among psychologists?

Multiple studies support the assumption that psychologists are more likely than the general population to experience suicide thinking and behaviour due to burnout, anxiety, or depression. According to a 2009 APA poll, 40 percent to 60 percent of psychologists experience some interruption in their professional functioning.

References

American Psychiatric Association. (n.d.). What is Depression? Retrieved from

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/what-is-depression

American Psychological Association. Survey findings emphasise the importance of self-care for psychologists. 2010. Retrieved from 

http://www.apapracticecentral.org/update/2010/08-31/survey.aspx.

Anderson, L., Lewis, G., Araya, R., Elgie, R., Harrison, G., Proudfoot, J., Schmidt, U., Sharp, D., Weightman, A., & Williams, C. (2005). Self-help books for depression: how can practitioners and patients make the right choice?. The British journal of general practice : the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners, 55(514), 387–392.

Berjot S, Altintas E, Grebot E, & Lesage F-X (2017). Burnout risk profiles among French psychologists. Burnout Research, 7, 10–20. 10.1016/j.burn.2017.10.001.

Christian. (2021, October 05). The Pros (and Cons) of reading self Help-Book. Tracking Happiness. Retrieved from

Georgetown Behavioural Hospital. (2021, April 01). Types of Mental Health Interventions Available In Ohio. Retrieved from

https://www.gbhoh.com/types-of-mental-health-interventions-available-in-ohio/

Gilroy P, Carroll L, Murra J. A preliminary survey of counselling Psychologists’ personal experiences with depression and treatment. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. 2002;33:402–407.

Mace, M. L. (2016,  April 27). Depressed Psychologists. Psychology Today. Retrieved from

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/campus-confidential-coping-college/201604/depressed-psychologists

Pope K, Tabachnick B. Therapists as patients: A national survey of psychologists’ experiences, problems, and beliefs. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. 1994;25:247–258.

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