People in high-flying careers may find it harder to find ways to deal with depression, according to doctors.
Up to a third of people receiving treatment for depression, which can include therapy and antidepressants, do not find it eases their symptoms. But a new study may help doctors cater their prescriptions to patients more effectively, by taking into consideration this new risk factor - whether patients have a high level occupation.
The international study found that those in high status jobs are less responsive to all types of treatment for the disorder, with 56 per cent of them resistant to treatment, compared to 40 per cent of mid-level workers. High level workers were also less likely to be in remission than middle and lower groups.
Read more: The City needs to talk about mental health
Professor Siegfried Kasper, one of the study’s Austrian collaborators, said there were many contributing factors that could be making those working at the highest levels harder to treat.
“There may be specific working environment demands and stressors; people may find it difficult to accept or cope with illness, or to continue with medication,” he said. But the difference could also be down to character traits found often found in high status workers.
“There may be other factors, related for example to cognitive, personality and behavioural differences”.
Professor Eduard Vieta, a scientist on the board of Europe’s neuroscience body, says high level workers’ preference for certain types of treatment can’t be ruled out as an explanation.
“High-status job patients may be more prone to request [therapy] without the support of [antidepressants]. The ideal treatment of depression is, in general, the combination of both.”