Boredom causing depression

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    Also visit the online treatment locator.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

Also visit the online treatment locator, or send your zip code via text message: 435748 (HELP4U) to find help near you. Read more about the HELP4U text messaging service.

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Dangerous Disease of Office Workers - DW - 01/19/2011

Photo: Jean B. -

January 19, 2011

Do you spend hours on social media at work? Are you tired of doing the same tasks? Are you bored in the office? Employees who are not satisfied with their work are more likely to suffer from apathy and depression.


You can get tired of too much work - it's a fact, but can you get tired of idleness? Just like the doctors say. It turns out that insufficient workload at work is just as dangerous for the psyche as a constant rush job. People who have to perform too easy, repetitive or boring tasks lose interest in their activities. As a result - a feeling of unsuitability, apathy, lack of motivation, depression and a constant feeling of fatigue. nine0005

Diagnosis "chronic boredom"

In medicine, this phenomenon is called chronic boredom syndrome - from the English boreout syndrome. "It is noteworthy that in its symptoms it is very similar to another syndrome - burnout syndrome, which, as you know, arises from too intense and strenuous work," says Wolfgang Merkle, a psychotherapist, a doctor at the psychosomatic clinic in Frankfurt.

But unlike "burnout", which is a generally recognized phenomenon, boredom at work, according to the expert, is still a taboo topic. “When a person says that he has a park at work, this is perceived as absolutely normal. If someone starts complaining that he is bored, has nothing to do, or he feels unclaimed as an employee, they will not understand such a person and decide that he is just a lazy person ", says Wolfgang Merkle. nine0005

Office workers sickness

Boreout Diagnosis authors Peter Werder (left) and Philipp Rothlin Photo: Picture alliance/dpa

The term boreout was coined in 2007 by Swiss economist Philipp Rothlin and PR consultant Peter Werder. In their book, The Boreout Diagnosis, they came to the conclusion that the cause of boredom at work is not laziness at all, but the work itself. It no longer arouses interest and turns into a routine. The feeling of lack of demand and unfulfillment experienced by employees who are forced to engage in activities of this kind negatively affects their psyche and general health - up to sleep disturbances, depression and reduced immunity. nine0005

While collecting material for the book, Rothlin and Werder conducted more than a hundred interviews with employees of banks, insurance companies, lawyers and PR firms and found that boredom syndrome most often manifests itself in office workers. Their work is difficult to measure in physical terms, and the very nature of their activity allows them, if necessary, to successfully imitate employment, experts say.

Captured by idleness

Christoph Timmerhoff, a consultant for the German insurance company Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) on issues of health and safety at work, divides the causes of boredom syndrome into quantitative and qualitative. “In the first case, this is the insufficient amount of work that the employee has to do, due, for example, to a general reduction in orders in the company or improper distribution of responsibilities,” he explains. “It can also be about the quality of the work itself. If in the eyes of the employee it is unnecessary , unworthy of his qualifications or does not allow him to reach his potential, then sooner or later disappointment sets in. nine0005 When you have to create the appearance of work, time stops. Photo: Andrey Zyk -

Chronic boredom takes over an employee gradually. At first, excess free time during work hours is perceived as compensation for uninteresting work. "A great opportunity to surf the Internet, answer e-mail, read books," such an employee comforts himself.

However, such ways to kill time soon become burdensome, because it is much more difficult to create the appearance of work than to work. Time drags on slowly, the working day stretches, you have to constantly occupy yourself with something. And if we add to this the remorse of conscience and the constant fear of being exposed, then one can imagine how hard it is for such "hard workers". nine0005

Cure for boredom

Often, in the fight against boredom, employees invent meaningless activities for themselves and eventually come home tired, but with the realization that they did not do anything useful during the day. However, in most cases, it never comes to a frank conversation with superiors.

"The fear of embarrassing yourself in front of your colleagues or, even worse, losing your job keeps employees from being recognized," says Wolfgang Merkle, a psychotherapist at the Psychosomatic Clinic in Frankfurt. For patients suffering from the symptom of chronic boredom, he recommends that they take up professional development, think about what other tasks they could and would like to do, and only after that - with ready-made proposals - go to talk with the boss. nine0005

For those who are afraid of a negative reaction from their superiors, the expert advises trying to transfer to another position or seek solace in a hobby. "Well, if these measures turn out to be ineffective, then maybe it's really worth thinking about changing the employer," the expert says.

Author: Yulia Setkova
Editor: Marina Borisova


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Why we are bored and how it can be dangerous about the weekend or vacation, when you can finally do nothing. In fact, it turns out that idle pastime often brings boredom. Afisha Daily figured out what exactly it could be dangerous.

What is boredom

A recent study found that idle time makes people bored and unhappy. From a scientific point of view, boredom began to be studied quite recently. In 2012, psychologists at York University in Toronto attempted for the first time to come up with a scientific definition of the condition. They studied hundreds of theories and conducted many interviews to find out exactly how people feel when they are bored. As a result, scientists were able to define boredom in terms of attention: a person is bored at the moment when he not only has nothing to do, he wants to do something, but for some reason cannot focus his attention on any business. nine0005

Why we get bored

Psychologists have identified factors that contribute to the appearance of this feeling:

For a person to feel bored, he must be in a state of strong psychological arousal. At the same time, he wants to direct his energy to some activity, but nothing attracts his attention. If a person is not particularly excited, then he will not be bored - he will feel relaxed.

Boredom occurs more often in situations where people cannot control what is happening. Therefore, we get bored in queues at the supermarket or at airports when we are waiting to board a delayed flight. Usually, when we don't like what we are doing, we just switch to another activity. But in these cases it is not easy to change occupation - and we get bored. nine0005

An object that causes boredom also often causes irritation and hatred, and these emotions can persist for a long time. A good example is "boring" works from the school literature curriculum. As a rule, if a person does not like a book, he can simply put it aside and take up another one. But the books from the school curriculum were mandatory reading, so they began to annoy. It is precisely because of boredom that people continue to dislike the disliked works of the school curriculum even in adulthood. nine0005

Boredom as an engine of progress

Behavioral economists at Carnegie Mellon University believe that boredom is a brain signal that mental resources are being used inefficiently, which means that a person should switch to another activity. According to University of Pennsylvania psychologist Angela Duckworth, boredom, like other emotions, appeared as a result of human evolutionary development with a specific purpose. So fear and excitement were necessary for survival. And boredom is to spur mental development. Without it, according to Duckworth, we would simply repeat the same actions over and over again. Boredom makes us move on and switch to new activities when the old ones can no longer teach us anything. nine0005

Why is boredom dangerous? But a causal relationship between these phenomena has not been established. It is not clear whether depression and various addictions cause a feeling of boredom or vice versa. It has also been found that those who constantly complain of boredom are more likely than others to die young. However, it is possible that early deaths are associated with aggressive behavior and addictions, and not directly with boredom. nine0005

How to deal with boredom

Boredom is directly related to mind wandering—when people are bored, they get lost in thought, which often makes them feel even more bored.

Learn more