Is Any Job Really Better than No Job at All?

Your depression, stress and anxiety may be job related

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) While it's been shown that being unemployed can be harmful to your mental health, new research shows that having a bad job could be just as damaging.

Australian researchers looked at how different aspects of a job affects the mental health of workers. Unsurprisingly, they found that generally speaking, unemployed people had worse mental health than people who were employed. But, the people who were unemployed had similar or better mental health than people who had the worst jobs.

dailyRx Insight: Your mental health depends on the quality and sense of satisfaction you get from your job.

In a study involving more than 7,000 people of working age, researchers looked at how workers' mental health was affected by the psychosocial quality of their job (i.e. levels of control, difficulty and demands, job insecurity, and unfair pay).

Their results show that the mental health of people with the worst quality jobs declined more than people who were unemployed. When unemployed individuals became employed, improvements to their mental health depended on the quality of the job they found. If an unemployed individual went into a poor quality job, their mental health became worse than without the job.

Depression impacts an estimated 15 million adults in the United States. Depression is a state of prolonged low mood and aversion to activity. A person's thoughts, behavior, feelings and physical well-being are affected and may include feelings of sadness, anxiety, emptiness, hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt, irritability, or restlessness. The primary treatments for major depression are psychological counseling and medications. Medication therapies include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs). SSRIs include: fluoxetine (Prozac®), paroxetine (Paxil®), sertraline (Zoloft®), citalopram (Celexa®) and escitalopram (Lexapro®). SNRIs include: duloxetine (Cymbalta®), venlafaxine (Effexor®) and desvenlafaxine (Pristiq®). Bupropion (Wellbutrin) is an NDRI. Atypical antidepressants include trazodone (Desyrel®) and mirtazapine (Remeron®). Each medication category has different side effects.

The study is published in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine.  

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
March 15, 2011
Last Updated:
March 16, 2011