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Half of psychologists say they suffer from depression

Half of psychologists say they suffer from depression

May 2, 2024

The data published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in October 2015 show worrying figures, because it is estimated that depression affects some 350 million individuals worldwide . Experts have long warned that depression has become the most common disease of the 21st century, along with stress and anxiety.

This pathology manifests itself with frequent variations of the state of mind and with serious emotional problems that affect the day to day. It is a serious problem that millions of people have to face, because it affects work, the family, has a negative effect on interpersonal relationships and, in the worst cases, can lead to suicide.


Psychologists, the most depressed professionals?

There is often much talk of stress or burnout at work, but depression is also a serious problem in the workplace. In this context, in addition to great discomfort and suffering, depression causes a decrease in performance, accidents, as well as continuous changes in personnel. Some investigations estimate that between 15% and 30% of professionals will suffer some type of mental health problem during their working life , among them, the depressive disorder.

A study coordinated by Dr. Marta Torres that was carried out in a health center in Lleida (Spain), analyzed 275 dismissal processes caused by mental health problems during one year. The analysis of the data provided interesting information, stating that depression was responsible for 68 percent of the total cases analyzed. Therefore, it is the most frequent cause of sick leave, followed by anxiety (12%), mixed anxious-depressive disorders (9%), altered affectivity (2%) and other associated personality disorders such as abuse. of toxic substances. According to this study, 55 percent of patients with depression are over 40 years old, with the majority of cases being women.


The economic crisis has worsened the situation

Health professionals are the sector that has suffered most from this disorder, and recent research conducted in the United States concludes that doctors and dentists are the groups with the highest rate of depression and suicide. But in Spain, the situation is not more hopeful. The economic crisis in which the country is immersed has worsened in recent years and working conditions have changed for many employees.

The cuts by the government, the null expectations of improvement, low salaries and the stress resulting from the excessive workload and the scarce recognition for the work carried out by these professionals, among other factors, they contribute to feed a situation that for many has become desperate .

The psychologist Arturo Torres, regular contributor to the journal Psychology and Mind, explains: "Depression is a serious and real problem that affects the different areas of a person's life. It has an impact on work performance, but working conditions also affect the person and can cause problematic emotional situations, as well as depression. This is a particularly sensitive issue for many young people, who view the future with pessimism. " In addition, Torres argues that: "Work is one of the keys to the well-being of an individual, and before the few expectations of improvement, many young people decide to go and try their luck without leaving everything behind. They even go to Latin America, something unthinkable a few years ago ".


Psychologists also suffer from depression at work

Because of the crisis, we have seen many groups go out in search of work and social improvements. Like the nurses, the professors, the jurists, etc. But one of the groups that we have not seen manifest and barely talk about are the psychologists. Have psychologists not suffered the crisis? According to the psychologist Arturo Torres, psychologists are in a dramatic situation . "In Spain, they have serious difficulties finding a job, they do not even find precarious work and that is alarming. The vast majority of my colleagues in my profession are either unemployed or working in other guilds such as the hospitality industry, "says Torres, who concludes that" psychologists have no future expectations in this country. "

But, then, do psychologists also suffer from depression? So is. A study published in the United Kingdom assures that almost half of psychologists (46%) suffer from this pathology. The survey was conducted by the British Psychological Society, and it collects 1,300 testimonies in which the majority of psychologists declare to feel burnout, low morale and high levels of stress.It seems incredible that the professionals in charge of treating depression are just as depressed as the patients.

Do psychologists suffer stress and burnout?

In addition to 46% of psychologists who claim to be depressed, 49.5% feel unsuccessful and 70% find their work stressful. These results were presented at the Psychological Therapies in the NHS conference held in London, and the data showed a 12% increase in the stress of psychology professionals with respect to the previous year, that is, 2014. On the other On the other hand, the cases of bullying had doubled from one year to the next.

Professor Jamie Hacker Hughesm, president of the British Psychological Society says: "Occupational health and well-being are of vital importance and we should be aware of this. I have worked and directed the NHS services (Health Service of the United Kingdom) and I have been able to see with my own eyes the effect of stress, work overload, incorrect supervision and burnout "

Following these conclusions, leading organizations in mental health in the United Kingdom are committed to supporting a cooperative effort to improve the well-being and resilience of psychologists who provide a key service to society. In collaboration with the New Savoy Partnership and the Public Health England, the British Psychological Society has made a Letter for the Welfare and Resilience of Psychology staff (Charter for Psychological Staff Wellbeing and Resilience).

Psychologists are also people

After the results of the study carried out in the United Kingdom, it will be necessary to know if in Spain the same thing happens and, on the other hand, if the same thing happens in other areas of psychology, not only the clinic . There are many branches of psychology, such as the psychology of organizations or social psychology, in which psychologists also do a great job.

What is important to understand after this survey is that psychologists are also people. They suffer, they cry, they get stressed and they go through difficult stages in their life. Psychologists do not live on another planet, but they are also affected by the environment and by the reality that surrounds us. In fact, it is an essential requirement for a clinical psychologist who is as objective as possible in his work, and that, in many cases, requires a consultation to find emotional balance. Sounds weird that a psychologist goes to another psychologist? Well, I would not have to be.


Psychology of Depression (May 2024).


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