Is Work Making You Mentally Ill?

Photo (cc) by herval

Feel like your job is driving you crazy? You might be onto something — especially if you’re a woman.

A new study associates a high level of work stress with an increased risk of taking sick leave for mental disorders. The study will be published in the August issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, which is the official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Researchers from Karolinska Institutet, a medical university in Sweden, conducted the study. They used data to examine how psychosocial factors at work affect rates of sick leave due to mental health reasons, a press release from the journal states:

On five-year follow-up of nearly 12,000 workers, the rate of sick leave due to mental disorders was about eight percent. Three-fourths of workers taking mental health sick leave were women.

People at greater risk of sick leave for mental disorders include workers with:

  • High job demands
  • Job strain (defined as high job demands with low control)
  • Iso-strain (defined as high demands and low control plus low levels of social support at work)
  • Multiple unhealthy behaviors

A high level of physical activity was found to be a protective factor, although the study authors note that efforts to improve healthy behaviors without also addressing the work environment might be less effective at reducing sick leave for mental disorders.

According to the American Psychological Association, work stress can lead to burnout. The association defines burnout as “a condition marked by emotional exhaustion and negative or cynical attitudes toward others and yourself.”

Burnout can in turn lead to depression, which has been linked to many physical health problems.

The APA’s suggestions for dealing with job stress include taking workday breaks, walking away from a situation when you feel angry, and setting reasonable expectations both for yourself and others.

How do you prefer to cope with stress at work? Share your thoughts in our Forums. It’s a place where you can swap questions and answers on money-related matters, life hacks and ingenious ways to save.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
3 Cable TV Companies Hiking Prices for 2021
3 Cable TV Companies Hiking Prices for 2021

Still married to your cable company? Hold on to your wallet!

7 Mistakes Guaranteed to Ruin Your Retirement
7 Mistakes Guaranteed to Ruin Your Retirement

Make even one of these money mistakes, and you’ll probably end up eating ramen noodles in your golden years.

5 Ways to Save at Dollar Tree
5 Ways to Save at Dollar Tree

Yes, it’s possible to pay less than a buck for items from a dollar store.

9 Houseplants That Remove Toxins From Your Indoor Air
9 Houseplants That Remove Toxins From Your Indoor Air

These plants may also do everything from reduce the amount of dust in your home to improve your productivity.

11 Small Money Moves That Will Make a Big Difference
11 Small Money Moves That Will Make a Big Difference

These small money moves will pay off big in the long run.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco
9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco

Are you missing out on serious savings at your favorite warehouse club?

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles
The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles

One automaker takes half the spots on a list of the longest-lasting vehicles.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.
This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.

This brand’s vehicles are least likely to give drivers repair headaches, according to J.D. Power.

9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.