Data released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in October 2015 reveal worrying figures, because depression is estimated to affect around 350 million people worldwide. Experts have long warned that depression has become the most common illness of the 21st century, along with stress and anxiety.
This pathology manifests itself through frequent mood swings and serious emotional problems that affect everyday life. It is a serious problem that millions of people face because it affects work, family, has a negative effect on interpersonal relationships and in the worst case can lead to suicide.
Are psychologists the most depressed professionals?
There is a lot of talk about stress or burnout at work, but depression is also a serious problem in the work environment. In this context, in addition to great discomfort and suffering, depression leads to reduced performance, accidents, as well as continuous changes of personnel. some research they estimate that between 15% and 30% of professionals will suffer from some form of mental health problem during their working lifeAmong them, depressive disorder.
A study coordinated by Dr Marta Torres which was carried out in a health center in Lleida (Spain), analyzed 275 work stoppage processes caused by mental health problems during a year. Analysis of the data provided interesting information, indicating that depression was the cause of 68 percent of the total cases analyzed. It is therefore the most common cause of sick leave, followed by anxiety (12%), mixed anxiety-depressive disorders (9%), affective disorders (2%) and other personality disorders. associated such as substance abuse. According to this study, 55% of patients with depression are over 40 years old, the majority of cases being women.
The economic crisis has worsened the situation
Healthcare professionals are the industry that has suffered the most from this disorder, and recent research in the United States concludes that doctors and dentists are the groups with the highest rates of depression and suicide. But in Spain, the situation is no longer encouraging. The economic crisis in which the country is plunged has worsened in recent years and working conditions have changed for many employees.
Government cuts, no expectation of improvement, low wages and stress due to excessive workload and little recognition for the work performed by these professionals, among other factors, they help fuel a situation that for many has become desperate.
Psychologist Arturo Torres, a regular contributor to the journal Psychology and Mind, explains: “Depression is a serious and real problem that affects different areas of a person’s life. It impacts job performance, but the conditions” work also affects the person and can lead to emotional problems as well as depression. This is a particularly sensitive issue for many young people, who see the future with pessimism. Further, Torres argues that: “Work is one of the keys to the well-being of the individual, and faced with low expectations for improvement, many young people decide to try their luck outdoors by leaving everything behind them. They even go to Latin America. , something unthinkable a few years ago. ”
Psychologists also suffer from depression at work
Due to the crisis, we have seen many groups take to the streets in search of manpower and social improvements. Like nurses, teachers, lawyers, etc. But one of the groups that we haven’t seen come up and that we barely talk about is the psychologists. Didn’t psychologists suffer from the crisis? According to psychologist Arturo Torres, Psychologists are in a dire situation. “In Spain they have serious difficulties in finding work, they cannot even find precarious work and this is alarming. The vast majority of colleagues in my profession are either unemployed or work in other unions such as ‘hospitality industry,’ he says. Torres, who concludes that “psychologists have no expectations for the future of this country.”
But then, do psychologists also suffer from depression? It’s like that. A study published in the United Kingdom indicates that almost half of psychologists (46%) suffer from this pathology. The survey was conducted by the British Psychological Society and includes 1,300 testimonials in which most psychologists report feeling burnt out, low morale and high stress levels. It seems wrong that the professionals in charge of treating depression are just as depressed as the patients.
Do psychologists suffer from stress and burnout?
In addition to the 46% of psychologists who say they are depressed, 49.5% feel failed and 70% find their work stressful. These results were presented at the NHS Psychological Therapies conference in London, and the data showed a 12% increase in stress for psychology professionals compared to the previous year, in 2014. Other On the other hand, cases of bullying had doubled year on year.
Professor Jamie Hacker Hughesm, President of the British Psychological Society, says: “Health and well-being at work is vital and we need to be aware of it. I have worked and led the NHS (UK Health Service) and I was able to see with my own eyes from stress, overwork, poor supervision and burnout “
Following these findings, the UK’s leading mental health organizations pledged to support a cooperative effort to improve the well-being and resilience of psychologists who provide a vital service to society. In collaboration with the New Savoy Partnership and Public Health England, the British Psychological Society has developed a Letter for well-being and resilience with psychology staff (Letter for the well-being and resilience of psychological personnel).
Psychologists are people too
Following the results of the study carried out in the United Kingdom, it will be necessary to know if the same thing happens in Spain and, on the other hand, if the same thing happens in other areas of psychology, not just in the clinic.. There are many branches of psychology, such as organizational psychology or social psychology, in which psychologists also do a great job.
What is important to understand after this survey is that psychologists are people too. They suffer, cry, stress and go through difficult stages in their lives. Psychologists do not live on another planet, but are also affected by the environment and reality around us. In fact, it is essential for a clinical psychologist to be as objective as possible in his work, and this, in many cases, requires going through a consultation to find an emotional balance. Does it seem strange for a psychologist to go to another psychologist? Well, it shouldn’t be.