The only thing worse than a late night at the office catching up on paperwork is late night...after late night...after late night...at the office, stuck in a job where you're always catching up, but you never quite get there.
If that's your story, you might want to consider a career change before it's too late: The latest research finds that people who work the longest hours have a higher risk of major depression.
(And attention bosses who expect all those late nights: No, your employees don't do it because they love the work -- they do it because they fear losing their jobs.)
In the new study, some 2,000 British office workers were tracked for nearly six years -- and those who clocked more than 11 hours a day were nearly two and a half times more likely to come down with major depression than those who stuck to the "normal" seven-hour or eight-hour shift.
You might think some of these people were depressed to begin with -- which is perhaps why they were so willing to throw themselves on the mercy of their jobs.
But, in this case, the researchers wrote in PLoS One that none of the workers showed any sign of mental problems at the start of the study. The link even held after all the usual risk factor adjustments.
In other words, it's the work -- and, more specifically, far too many hours at work -- causing that increase in depression risk.
And that's not the only danger that comes with too much overtime. Those long hours could actually kill you.
One recent study found that people who work between three and four hours of overtime a day have a 60 percent higher risk of a heart attack than those who stick to regular office hours.
That same study also confirmed what's already obvious to anyone regularly putting in 10 or 12 hours at a time: All that extra work can cause stress, aggression, hostility, and sleep disorders.
And of course, overtime can sap your social life and alienate you from your family.
It's never easy finding a balance between work and home -- but find that balance. It could literally save your life.