Most Depressing Professions Now

By Alanna Hilbink

We’ve all felt burned-out, tired, or bored at work. Even the best jobs will occasionally involve stress and well, work. But some jobs do come with a greater likelihood of mental health concerns like depression and anxiety. Below are the top six most depressing professions in the US today, and what you can do if you or a loved one is struggling in one of these careers.

1. Healthcare Workers

The pandemic put great pressure on some of our most important professionals: healthcare workers. Doctors and nurses already had stressful and often heartbreaking jobs. Now, the demands are even greater. Mental Health America (MHA) shares that our healthcare workers are stressed, anxious, frustrated, and exhausted, all while not receiving the mental health support they need.

2. Personal Care Workers

If you’ve dedicated your career to helping others, whether by working in childcare, eldercare, or with those who are disabled, you are working in one of the most depressed professions. shares that nearly 11% of personal care workers experience extended periods of depression. We ask for a lot from those taking care of our most vulnerable populations, but we don’t often make sure they have the help they themselves need.

3. Food Service Workers reports that workers who serve or prepare food, such as cooks, bartenders, waiters, and waitresses, have the second-highest rate of depression (10.3%) among full-time employees. Restaurant work is fast-paced, stressful, and often comes with an unusual or unpredictable schedule that can interfere with time with family and friends. For these reasons and many more, food service workers have one of the most depressing jobs.

4. Teachers

Teaching seems like it would be a fun and rewarding job: working with children, helping them explore and learn. Yet, it has long been one of the most depressed professions. And managing the job while also dealing with COVID has made the statistics even more grim. The Rand Corporation’s 2021 Research Report based on data collected from that year’s State of the US Teacher Survey revealed that one in four teachers reported experiencing symptoms of depression. It also found that “frequent job-related stress, feelings of burnout, and symptoms of depression appear to be nearly universal among teachers.” If you are a teacher, you may be struggling with depression as you find more and more responsibilities and challenges being added to your work.

5. Creative Professionals

Artists, writers, and musicians are often associated with mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. It’s true that mood disorders and creativity often overlap, but it’s also true that many forms of art can be incredibly healing when it comes to mental health recovery. If you are a creative person, seeking help for depression does not mean limiting your career. It may mean opening up new outlets and opportunities instead.

6. Any Professional

That’s right, any job can be one of the most depressing jobs. shares that 7% of all workers experience depression each year. No matter your career, work can take its toll on your mental health. Anyone can struggle with depression, and anyone can take steps to change their situation for the better.

depression in job graphic

What Do I Do About Depression?

Anyone can struggle with depression, and anyone can take steps to change their situation for the better.

Don’t worry about a checklist of symptoms or identifying specific feelings; if life at work or home seems overwhelming, exhausting, unfulfilling, or simply “off,” reach out to a professional for help. Our caring staff here at The Meadows Malibu can help you find the root of your depression and how it may or may not be tied to your job. We’ll work with you to create a customized treatment plan that will balance your recovery with your career. You can find a better, brighter future at home and at work, and that future can start today.