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High pressured manager jobs linked to depression

1 August 2007

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GPs and practice managers with high pressure jobs are at risk of depression and anxiety, research suggests.

A study of 1,000 men and women has linked high-pressure jobs to the onset of depression, even when staff have no previous history of a psychiatric disorder.

The team at King’s College London found that 45% of new cases of depression among young workers were attributable to work stress.

These participants had jobs with high psychological demands, including excessive workloads and extreme time pressures.

Lead author Dr Maria Melchior said: “Our study shows that work stress appears to bring on diagnosable forms of depression and anxiety in previously healthy young workers – in fact the occurrence is two times higher than among workers whose jobs are less demanding.

“Clearly we can also deduce that work stress is associated with mental health problems of clinical significance that have healthcare and financial implications for wider society.”

Co-author Professor Richie Poulton added: “It’s possible to teach people to deal with distressing situations through psychological counselling or you can change the workplace in a way that decreases job demands.”

Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

“I can only echo the comments made by the other managers. What they say about lack of funds for extra staffing and time constraints are the biggest problems that lead to me being stressed. I too find that alcohol is required at night in order for me to relax and forget the pressure of the day. Not ideal I know, but otherwise I do not sleep at all – – Name and address supplied

“I have been in post for over 11 years but have only felt the job to be stressful recently. This is not helped by one of the partners feeling stressed and shouting/swearing at staff” – Name and address supplied

“Yes, because the workload is so high and the environment so demanding. I try to delegate where I can, but everyone else has a high workload too and with a falling GP income there is not that much in the budget for additional help. I tend to work a fair bit of overtime and sometimes come into work at the weekends just to be able to get on with things without continual interruptions. Also I probably drink a little bit too much wine in the evenings in order to try to relax” – Name and address supplied

“Yes. I work a 6-day week, it’s less stressful than the c*** the NHS gives you if their meaningless targets are not met” – Name and address supplied

King’s College London