Studies have found that the association between shift work and depression may be accounted for in part by the psychosocial work conditions, particularly for all occupations. The continuous feeling of sadness or loss of interest that characterises major depression leads to a lot of range of behavioural and physical symptoms.
These symptoms include changes in sleep, appetite, energy level, concentration, daily behaviour or self-esteem. Depression is usually associated with thoughts of suicide. Various studies have reported that working outside the normal diurnal working hours is one of the possible risk factors of major depression which may cause health defects in employees working in varying shift schedules (Costa 2016). Depression is not only common in the general population but also in the working population.
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The result of research analysis on the rate of mental disorders in workers demonstrated that depression had the highest prevalence rate after simple phobia. In addition, depression in shift workers causes a significant amount of business and social costs as it leads to the decrease of productivity. Several studies have reported that working on shift is one of the major causes of depression in employees. Early discovery of depression and the importance of intervention were emphasized.
Shift work and depression has been a problem that has been examined in workers of various job categories. More so there was significant difference in depression between shift workers and non-shift workers in a study of university hospital nurses, depression level in shift workers was significantly higher also in studies conducted with security guards, and police officers, showing an overall association between shift work and depression.