"A job can be a source of meaning and social support, which can provide a buffer against depression for some people," says Eugene Baker, PhD, vice president of employee assistance programs for OptumHealth Behavioral Solutions. "It's a place to go every day and have people to interact with. But if you are unhappy with your job, and it is chronic unhappiness, and you feel powerless to change your situation, these feelings of helplessness can foster depression."
Gender also plays a role. For all types of occupations, women have higher rates of depression than men. Women working in the food industry have the highest rate of depression (14.8%), while men in the arts, entertainment, sports, and media are more likely to be depressed (6.7%) than those in other careers.
Jobs that exacerbate depression
There are also other factors that contribute to job dissatisfaction and depression, regardless of specific career.
Are there feel-good jobs?
If you suffer from a debilitating mental illness like clinical depression, a career change won't cure you. But there are industries that are less depression-prone than others. According to statistics from the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the jobs with the lowest rates of depression included engineering, architecture, and the sciences (for both men and women).