They Looked At The Data, And These Are The Most Depressing Careers

They Looked At The Data, And These Are The Most Depressing Careers

We’re known to occasionally (okay, more than occasionally) complain about our lines of work. As it turns out, some of us are much more justified in that behavior than others. Thanks to a study from Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, we know which jobs make their employees super depressed.

A study was conducted of employees in western Pennsylvania, which may have skewed the results because I think most people there are depressed anyway. From 214,000 surveyed Pennsylvanians, researchers found that those working in public transit, real estate, social work, manufacturing, personal services, legal services, and publishing were much more likely to be depressed than workers of other industries – the percentage of depressed public transit workers chimes in at a whopping 16.2%. Oh, and if you’re like me and are wondering what “personal service” workers are, they aren’t that kind of personal service worker – we’re talking about the lady that cuts your hair or sloughs dead skin off your feet for a $35 pedicure.

Although these jobs are extremely different – it’s not that often that you find a lawyer and a bus driver in the same category – they all have one key job aspect in common: customer service. Suddenly, this list makes sense: deal with annoying ass people all day long, and you’ll be booking a doctor’s appointment to get a Prozac prescription faster than you can blink.

Alternatively, you could switch gears to a career with the lowest recorded levels of depression: recreation services, highway construction, coal mining, metallurgy, or air travel. Again, these aren’t those kinds of recreation services, but careers like being a dance instructor. This too is an extremely odd and varied list, but the thread holding them together is physical activity. As it turns out, your doctor’s been telling you to get more exercise in for a reason and not just to spite you – moving around during the day apparently does good things for your mental health.

So there you have it, cubicle monkeys – the reason you’re all so cynical is because you have to answer client e-mails all day. Now quit your job and start laying pavement – sure, you’ll have to move back home with mom to counteract the pay cut, but at least you’ll be happy about it.

[via The Atlantic]

Image via Shutterstock

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Steph W.

Steph W. is a new Master's degree graduate with an intern's salary and six-figure taste. She realizes her expectations far exceed reality, so she spends her days pinning away Loubs she pretends are in her physical closet instead of her virtual one. Her hobbies include attempting to trapping her boyfriend into marriage before he finds out how insane she is and pretending that Black Box wine tastes as good as the kind she could afford when she was gainfully employed. Send her tips for getting out of student debt at

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