There is an interesting podcast interview between host, Dr Jonathan Singer, LCSW and Mark Meier, LCSW discussing how common depression is in social workers. Social workers are actually 3 times more likely to be depressed than others.
Mark said, “I think the nature of the job itself lends itself to being at risk for depression. We work in stressful environments, we have high caseloads, we often have unrealistic demands placed on us by the public, the organizations that we work for, to solve problems that are life long in developing and we are given 30 days to fix them. You know we work in threatening and dangerous environments, and I think when you add all of that together what you come up with Jonathan is a picture of ongoing stress and what we know is that when we don’t manage our stress well, whether you want to call it burnout or compassion fatigue or what you choose to call it, I think what it is most of the time is depression, and there is such a growing body of literature demonstrating that link between stress, you know unremitting stress, and depression.” I don’t remember this being discussed in social work grad school and at the jobs I’ve had, there haven’t been in-depth discussions about it though of course phrases such as stress and burnout are used . (more…)