Depressing: Work Stress Affects Men and Women Differently

Libby Kane
Posted

First thing Monday morning, most of us would agree that going to work can be a little depressing.

New research out of Canada found that the causes of more serious depression, though, differ along gender lines.

Women are more likely to experience job-related depression when they don’t feel appreciated at their jobs or aren’t appropriately rewarded for their efforts and achievements .

Men are more likely to feel it when they’re also feeling a lot of job strain, defined as “risk to physical and mental health from the stress of facing high psychological workload demands or pressures combined with low control or decision latitude in meeting those demands.”

Interestingly, women don’t interpret job strain the same way. Researchers say that this is only further indication that women aren’t defined by their work achievements like men are, and also point to the work-life balance quandary: Men are more likely to be depressed when family life interferes with work life … and women when work life interferes with family.

Both sexes were more likely to experience depression when worrying about losing their jobs, and women who worked full time were at a greater risk for depression than those who held part-time jobs. Men had a similar risk when working full-time, but only combined with high levels of job strain.

The new data isn’t too upsetting in itself, but when combined with the chances that workplace stress could kill you, it’s worrisome. So in honor of your mental health, learn how to beat it.