Sunday, October 14, 2007

Why so depressed?

"Why are you walking around with that long face," as I once said to John Kerry. Look at this report on the most depressing jobs in the United States:

Oct 13, 8:16 PM EDT

Report Ranks Jobs by Rates of Depression

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- People who tend to the elderly, change diapers and serve up food and drinks have the highest rates of depression among U.S. workers.

(Eeeeyew! That would be a depressing job, going to work every day and changing some old guy’s smelly diapers, listen to him babble nonsense, and making sure he eats his pureed broccoli through a straw. That’s why I won’t work for the Fred Thompson campaign.)

(That was my cheap gag for tonight. My cheap gag for last night was when a guy wrote in and told me: “Al Gore IS a third party!” I thought to myself: that sounds like some kind of cheap gag about how much weight Gore has put on. “He’s so fat, he IS a third party!” But I kept that remark to myself, because we were in the midst of a serious discussion. Anyway, back to depression on the job:)

Overall, 7 percent of full-time workers battled depression in the past year, according to a government report available Saturday.

...The lowest rate of depression, 4.3 percent, occurred in the job category that covers engineers, architects and surveyors.

(So they’re the happy ones! Who knew? “I’ve designed a wonderful new bridge, Tom!” “That’s great, Al! I’ll draw up the blueprints! Whoopee!” “And I’ll survey the site!” “Great, Tina!” “Oh, I’m so happy!” “Me, too!” “Me three! Say, I know...let’s have a three-way, right here on the old drawing board!” “That’s a great idea!” “I’ve got some lubricant!”—I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t face those people at work every day.)

Government officials tracked depression within 21 major occupational categories. (Including “pig shit grader.”) They combined data from 2004 through 2006 to estimate episodes of depression within the past year. That information came from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which registers lifetime and past-year depression bouts. (Oddly enough, the second most depressed group of people in the work force (right after the stinky old diaper changers) were “the government officials who gather data on depression.”)

Depression leads to $30 billion to $44 billion in lost productivity annually, said the report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

(So this is some serious stuff we’re talking about here. With the money we’re losing on these depressed working people, we could launch another war in Iran. So think about that, the next time you’re about to bitch and complain about your job impersonating a cartoon mouse at a children’s pizza parlor.)

...Just working full-time would appear to be beneficial in preventing depression. The overall rate of depression for full-time workers, 7 percent, compares with the 12.7 percent rate registered by those who are unemployed.

Well, that is a worthwhile finding. If you *have* a job, you’re less likely to be depressed. If you’re unemployed, you are more likely to be depressed. That finding blew me away.

What kills me though, is that last statistic. Only 12.7 percent of the unemployed are depressed? That means that 87.3 percent of the unemployed are well-adjusted. They’re facing foreclosures and gas at $2.78 a gallon—with a smile?

Must be the medication.



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