Academic journal article Annals of Psychotherapy and Integrative Health

Our Overworked Society

Academic journal article Annals of Psychotherapy and Integrative Health

Our Overworked Society

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Over the last several weeks in conversations with friends, colleagues, and in sessions with clients, the main topic of discussion has been how tired of working everyone seems to feel, regardless of their job or profession. Most of the complaints have to do with feeling that life is just one long workday. Many feel that there is just too much of everything. One colleague complained that she has come to hate her mobile phone because it's always reminding her that there are calls and messages. She feels bombarded with what she terms, "a not-so-smart phone." A client told me that when he and his wife went away on a long needed weekend get-away, their computer tablets and phones were blinking and ringing all the time. In total frustration, my client finally decided to shut down all of the devices and take a 48 hour reprieve from cyberspace. In an article from The New York Times titled, "Long Work Hours Can Cause Depression (2/7/12; p. D5)," Anahad O'Connor reported the findings of a study published in PLos One that stated, "ultimately, the men and women who routinely worked 11 hours a day or more had more than double the risk of developing depression compared with those who usually worked eight hours or less." The article goes on to suggest that several factors may be contributing to the increase in risk. These include: not getting enough sleep, not exercising, and feeling socially isolated because work is getting in the way of being with friends and family. In addition, the study suggests that working long hours "may raise the risk of other health problems ... including heart disease." Most everyone I know is working well over 11 hours a day. On top of all this is the stress of commuting to our places of business, as well as concerns over keeping our jobs in such precarious economic times. One of my colleagues took on a new client even though she felt overwhelmed by the number of hours she already worked simply because she feared that given the state of the economy she could not say, "NO. …

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