It turns out if you have no control over your work, you are far more likely to become stressed – and, crucially, depressed. Humans have an innate need to feel that what we are doing, day-to-day, is meaningful. When you are controlled, you can’t create meaning out of your work. Suddenly, the depression of many of my friends, even those in fancy jobs – who spend most of their waking hours feeling controlled and unappreciated – started to look not like a problem with their brains, but a problem with their environments.
In this extract from Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions, Johann Hari, who took antidepressants for 14 years, calls for a new approach.