Overtime Linked to Depression

Working Long Hours can Affect Mental Health

A study by researchers from Queen Mary’s College and University College of The University of London, Bristol University, McGill University in Canada and The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health examined the working habits of over 2000 UK civil servants to see whether these contributed to the development of depressive conditions. The subjects were followed for six years.

The focus was on whether overtime significantly affected the mental health of the subjects that were followed. It was found that those who worked on average an 11 hour day as opposed to colleagues who stuck to a standard 7-8 hour day were associated with a 2.5 times increase of probability of suffering a major depressive episode.

However, although this study demonstrates a link between increased work hours and the chance of suffering a major depressive episode, it had not yet been demonstrated whether the overtime alone causes depression. There are still other factors to be investigated.

The current ecconomic climate and fears asociated with loosing ones job can force people to put in longer and longer work hours, apparently to the detriment of their mental, as well as physical health.

Pursuing a course of psychotherapy can help explore these work related fears and how they may have knock on effects in other areas, such as relationships and family life. Challenging anxieties can lead to a healthier way of being and thereby ward off potential depression.

The psychotherapists at The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice on London’s Harley Street have worked with people suffering from anxiety and depression for many years, offering a safe, confidential and professional space in which to explore your difficulties.