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March 27, 2019
Working women, especially the ones who work for long hours are more susceptible to depression, compared to men, revealed a recent study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. According to the study, women who worked for more than 55 hours per week, were around 7.3 percent more likely to develop symptoms of depression. However, the same was not the case with women who worked for 35 to 40 hours per week.
While clinical depression is one of the most commonly prevalent mental disorders in the United States, the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) revealed that major depressive episode was more prevalent among adult women at 8.7 percent compared to men at 5.3 percent.
Women experience more pressure in terms of additional responsibilities
For the purpose of this study, the researchers analyzed a group of 11,215 working men and 12,188 working women. Even though the study was based on observation, it revealed that the number of working women who were depressed was higher compared to working men. This even when women with children tend to work fewer hours compared to women without children.
Lead author Gillian Weston, a post-doctoral student at the University College London, said that the exact causes of increased depressive episodes in women were not known. However, the researchers observed that apart from their regular duties at work, working women had an added responsibility of performing a major chunk of domestic chores, which men did not. This increased the overall working hours of women and added more pressure on them in terms of time and responsibilities. The study also revealed that women working in low-paid service sectors tend to work more over the weekends and were thus found to have higher depression levels.
The results of the study were maybe based on the gender roles that we play, explained Weston. In spite of men adopting more roles in the house, they are still not doing as much as women do, in terms of household chores and child-rearing responsibilities.
Further, men are usually the better earners among the couple, so it is quite natural that they assume that the long and irregular hours they work are the price that they pay for it. Hence, coming to terms with the job hours makes them immune to the stress related to long working hours compared to working women.
Another explanation that the researchers put forward was that woman are paid less for the same amount of work that men put in. So the imbalance between the effort put in and the result received leads to work stress. The researchers are keen to explore these reasons in their further studies.
Women working on weekends are at a higher risk of depression
The study revealed that women who worked on weekends were more susceptible (4.6 percent) to depression compared to men working over the weekends (3.4 percent.) It was also found that compared to half the population of women who worked on weekends, only two-third of the male population worked during the weekends.
On behalf of the researchers, Weston said that hopefully the findings of this study would encourage companies and policy makers to consider reducing the work burden of women and extending support towards them. Weston also suggested that organizations need to be more sympathetic towards women working for long hours regularly or over the weekend. This would benefit both the employees and the employers alike.
Treatment for depression
Invictus Health Group is known for offering quality care for depressive patients in a favorable environment, for long-term healing. The team of professionals at Invictus Health Group is committed towards delivering compassionate and skill-based care by considering the individual needs of each patient. The various inpatient treatment programs for mental health have been designed to provide treatment and therapy for every age group, be it children, adolescents, or adults.
If you or a loved one is battling depression or any other type of mental illness, feel free to reach out to us at Invictus Health Group. You can call our 24/7 mental health treatment helpline 866-548-0190 for more information about our research-backed depression treatment programs. You can also chat online with a representative from the admissions team to learn more about our treatment modalities as well as about our mental health disorder treatment centers.