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Photo Credit: Sander van der Wel
Photo Credit: Sander van der Wel

Mid-Level Managers Tend to Be at Higher Risk of Depression, Anxiety: New Study

Everybody has big dreams over his or her future. However, in the process of climbing up the social ladder one has to take the baby steps, and those in the bottom eventually move to middle of the hierarchy.

Staying at the bottom, inspires one to work hard and move forward while staying at the top relieves one because they have matured their way to control the things. But all the problems let loose on the middle managers of the firm or in social hierarchy, who constantly live under the fear of decline and temptation to go up as fast as possible.

Now a new study has shown that people who are close to the middle of the social hierarchy are more prone to suffer from anxiety and depression as compared to their bottom and top counterparts.


Photo Credit: LaurMG

Researchers from Mailman School of Public Health, under Columbia University looked into the outcomes of the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), which was an in-person interview of American adults aged 18 or older.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) organized the in-person interviews on Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated Disabilities for 21, 859 full-time workers to measure DSM-IV psychiatric conditions.

They divided the participants in three sections – owners or self-employed with earnings of more than $ 71, 500; managers or supervisors; and workers, including famers and laborers.

By guesstimating the frequency and odds of any lifespan as well as earlier one year record of anxiety and depression by the three sections, the research team discovered that signs of depression and anxiety were noticed by 18 percent in supervisors and managers in comparison to 12 percent in workers.

Seth J. Prins, who is a doctoral student in Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health as well as the first author of the study, said that their research discovered how social class might cause anxiety and depression in ways that usual socioeconomic status assessments would’ve “masked or incompletely explained”.

Katherine Keyes, an assistant professor of Epidemiology explained that they concentrated on depression and anxiety due to the “average age of onset” of these conditions being over 18, and the possibility of them developing “after entry in the workforce”.

Earlier studies indicated how work stress and job pressures are chief risk factors in having depression, with workers who have less chance for taking decisions and higher job demands reflecting increased rates of symbols.

The study has been published in the journal “Sociology of Health & Illness”.

In an earlier study performed by Irvin Schonfeld, who is a Psychology professor from City College, New York, it showed that the presence of a strong connection between burnout and depression.

The research team surveyed 5,500 school teachers to estimate the frequency of depression in workers with burnout, and witnessed 90 percent of those who were burnt out to have signs of depression or already suffering from it. This paper was published in the “International Journal of Stress Management”.

While depression is coming under radar, thanks to Bollywood star Deepika Padukone who openly admitted herself as the victim often and endorsed any campaign to ward it off, here are some tips for the young people out there who might be feeling lonely due to either lack of friends or not finding someone “special”.

  1. Spend Time Tactfully

Mere shopping, discounts or e-shopping, which is quite famous these days won’t help you combat depression. Instead spend your time tactfully that means with family, loved ones, friends or relatives. It always counts better than mere materialistic pleasures and your heart might be less laden with loneliness and you are sure to feel relaxed.

  1. Don’t Expect, Just Fulfill the Expectations

Other than feeling frustrated and saddened by your family or loved ones or friends, try to find out what they want or expect from you and try to fulfill those. The feeling of making your closed ones and family smile is a great one, and definitely not depressing.

  1. Alcohol, a Big No-No

Drowning in alcohol won’t help you because too much sugar and fat will damage your physical self, besides giving you nothing but cynical emotional relief. Once you get out of alcohol influence, you feel more lonely than before.

  1. Make Workplace Fun

Other than feeling overburdened by work pressures, try to see how you can make your workplace fun. Find out what can make you happy over there within your limits, albeit, never overstretch as that will eventually lead to depression again.

  1. Keep Yourself Engaged

Don’t sit idle because it hugely adds to depression. Instead keep yourself busy, meet your friends or somebody, and call up your friends or text.

  1. Help Others

Never ever think that you’re alone because when everything feels dark and deceiving, always remember that your family and closed ones are with you. With this thought, volunteer yourself to church, nursing homes or old-age homes, sharing other’s life stories as helping them out will be both beneficial to them as well as you.

  1. Be Positive

Always have an optimistic outlook at life. Refrain yourself from indulging in negative conversations, pessimistic comments. Make it a point to make pessimistic people to see the brighter side always. This one trait will make you see the brighter side and come out of depression. Be positve and be optimistic always.


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