In this blog post, we will see what the worst jobs for mental health are. In addition to that, we will understand how jobs take a toll on one’s mental health and how to identify poor mental health due to job stress. We will also see how to reduce stress during work and the ideal jobs for mental health.
Student Loan Planner surveyed their readers in May 2020 regarding psychological challenges young adults are currently facing. They found that student debt has grown tremendously. Owing to the psychological stress related to the coronavirus epidemic, they saw an increase in the risk of suicide among participants.
Worst Jobs for Mental Health
Some of the worst jobs for mental health, leading to conditions such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation among people are:
- Doctor or Nurse
- Mental Health Professional
- Social Worker
- Manual Labourer
People in this profession face massive emotional stressors, such as euthanizing animals, sometimes owing to the mere fact that the owners are facing economic restraints. Veterinarians tend to have huge debts, and this could result in anxiety for them. They are one of the worst-hit by the emotional and financial crises arising from the epidemic.
Dentists are prone to mental health disorders like depression and anxiety because of highly stressful clinical practice. They tend to undergo professional burnout easily. Moreover, the common traits of people who opt to become dentists typically are susceptible to poor mental health.
Doctor or Nurse
These healthcare workers are under constant stress as having people rely on them to save their lives could be mentally straining. They work in fast-paced environments where their decision could break or make a life.
Additionally, they face extended hours, emergencies, and are expected to be responsive throughout the day. Thus, they are prone to meet the criteria for burnout, anxiety, and depression. The suicide rates are also known to be much higher for doctors than the general population.
Mental Health Professional
Mental health professionals face occupational hazards such as the stress of working with distressed populations, clinical responsibility, and other emotional burdens. There is also an economic strain on them because of the educational qualifications required for a licensed psychologist. This strain tends to cause anxiety.
Akin to a mental health professional, social workers face occupational hazards related to emotional stress. Working every day with children and women subjected to abuse or violence, especially during the coronavirus epidemic, can be emotionally challenging. Over and above, their pay is low, and the job involves extended hours and a high turnover rate.
These laborers are subjected to many physical, occupational hazards. For example, fishing and trapping have the highest workplace fatality rate (52 deaths per 100,000 workers). Other industries facing fatalities include mining, logging and forestry, transportation and storage, and construction. These industries try to offset these hazards with better compensation, although not always the case.
Although a highly satisfying job, teachers face tremendous emotional stress from many corners, including students, parents, and administrators. They also have various responsibilities apart from lectures, such as coordinating field trips and identifying students with behavioral and psychological issues. Furthermore, the pay is low.
During the epidemic, having to make shifts like going online can also take a toll on their mental health, especially the older professors or those with inadequate technological knowledge. Bullying has also reportedly increased during these times.
How Do Jobs Take a Toll on Mental Health?
Different industries have different work pressures that take a toll on one’s mental health. Some of the everyday stressors found across sectors include:
- Lack of support from management;
- Low pay;
- High or conflicting demands;
- Lack of clarity in performance expectations;
- Minimal opportunities for career growth; and
- Excessive workload
For the majority of the people, most of their day goes into working or managing job-related issues while at home. Those without a proper work-life balance can be even more susceptible to being under stress, which leads to mental health issues.
Indicators that the Job is Leading to Poor Mental Health
Following is a list of signs that a job is bad for one’s mental health:
- Sleep cycle has changed for the worse;
- Physical problems;
- Social withdrawal;
- Dread your time at work;
- Perennially stressed out;
- Irritable at work and home;
- Lack of self-care;
- Lack of quality time with loved ones;
- Feeling anxious constantly; and
- Experience fear while at work.
In some cases, the workplace and not the work in itself could lead to the abovementioned issues.
Researchers studying the association between job satisfaction and mental health found a massive amount of overlap between depressive symptoms and what people call professional “burnout.” This finding indicates that burnout could be one way that depression manifests.
How to Reduce Stress During Work
Before learning how to reduce stress, one must identify job stress. What constitutes work stress could be different for different people. A person working a conventionally stressful job may not have poor mental health. Someone in a low-stress position might have psychological difficulties such as anxiety or depression related to their job.
What is important is for employees to meet with a mental health professional and learn various coping strategies for dealing with job stress.
Some ways to reduce stress while on the job are:
Journaling helps people keep track of their stressors and their current responses to these stressors. Journal entries should ideally include the time of day, the situation, how they feel (e.g., sad, anxious, stressed, irritated), and what they did to manage the feeling (e.g., snacked, told a co-worker, yelled at something or someone).
Once they identify the stressors, they can take the help of mental health professionals. The professional teaches them how to replace their maladaptive coping styles (e.g., bingeing, throwing tantrums) with more adaptive ones (e.g., writing, problem-solving). Getting appropriate rest and nutrition and regular exercise are excellent ways of coping with stress.
It is vital to have a sound social system in place to have better mental and physical health. They help buffer the negative impact of stress by providing care and comfort. Social networks also extend help by listening to one’s problems, offering their two cents, and overall just being there for them.
Get Professional Help
Most employers offer access to counseling services apart from other stress management resources like hotlines and online information. Getting professional help is essential for dealing with stress and other psychological issues and striking a healthy work-life balance.
It has become common for employees to feel like they have to be accessible around the clock. This sense of heightened responsiveness has increased during epidemic times, and technological advancements allow this to happen. Therefore, it is essential to draw boundaries like checking emails and answering calls only during business hours.
Further, here are a few ways to maintain a healthy work-life balance:
- Understand what your goals are and how much time you want to spend at work;
- Talk about these goals and the rationale for each plan with your family to gain their support;
- Develop a routine that allows you to make time for these goals;
- Make a note of the exact tasks you want to make time for every day or week; and
- Understand that no day is perfect and that you can only work toward improving your work-life every day
Ideal Job Options for Mental Health
Following is a list of jobs that help people stay healthy for longer and have lower rates of exposure to infection, joint problems, risk of injury, among other factors:
- Marketing Managers
- IT Managers
- Web Developers
In this blog post, we listed out what the worst jobs for mental health are. We learned how jobs take a toll on our mental health. Additionally, we identified warning signs for poor psychological health as a consequence of stress related to work. Finally, we outlined ways to reduce stress while working and listed out the ideal jobs for mental health.
If you feel very overwhelmed and depressed about your job, you should try writing a good resignation letter.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Worst Jobs for Mental Health
In which job are most people depressed?
People are most likely to be depressed in the following five industries in that order. The percentage of workers depressed in the sector are given in brackets:
Public and private transportation (16.2%)
Real estate (15.7%)
Social services (14.6%)
Personal services (14.3%)
What are the effects of poor mental health?
Apart from creating challenges in decision-making, poor mental health has a significantly negative impact on physical health. It can lead to health problems such as:
Coronary or heart disease
Compromised immune system
Further, depression alone can lead to chronic fatigue, susceptibility to pains and aches, and insomnia.
Is there a reason for dentists to be depressed?
Dentists work highly stressful jobs and are susceptible to professional burnout, depressive and anxiety disorders. Their clinical practice and the common traits found in people who choose this profession are the primary reasons for their stress and consequent psychological difficulties.
People working in which jobs are likely to get divorced?
Jobs with the highest separation or divorce rates in that order include:
Gaming managers (52.9%)
Flight attendants (50.5%)
Gaming service workers (50.3%)
Rolling machine workers (50.1%)
Switchboard operators (49.7%)
Metal and plastic tenders (49.6%)
Textile machine operators (48.9%)
Cosmetic factory operators (48.8%)
What is the ideal job for individuals with anxiety?
Following is a list of ideal jobs for individuals with anxiety:
Gardener or nursery attendant
Librarian or library clerk
Manufacturer or factory worker
Programmer or software developer
Cleaner or housekeeper
Data entry specialist
Are anxiety and depression disabilities?
Yes, people with severe depression or severe anxiety can claim disability benefits through the Social Security Administrations disability insurance program (SSDI). It makes it impossible for them to earn an income.
In case their depression or anxiety is not severe enough, if they have extreme physical difficulty, they can claim disability benefits.
Is it possible for someone with anxiety to work?
Yes, someone with less severe anxiety can work. However, for those with extreme anxiety, work can negatively affect physical and mental health. In this case, people with severe anxiety can claim disability benefits.
Physically, difficulty with fine motor skills and muscle tension make work challenging. Additionally, jobs may involve manual labor, making it dangerous for them. Mentally, anxiety can make it difficult for them to concentrate, interact with colleagues, and maintain employment.
Are there any signs indicative of mental illness?
Here are a few warning signs that may mean a person has a mental illness:
Social withdrawal or isolation
Extreme levels of emotions, high or low
Massive changes in eating and sleeping habits
Excessive fear, worry, or anxiety
Extended periods of sadness or irritability