I came across this interesting story in the Wall Street Journal about high-flying workers in the London financial sector and their increased use of psychotherapy.

Having worked with Wall Street go-getters, physicians, attorneys, as well as more than a few national athletes and others in high-pressure and/or  high-paying jobs, I am familiar with many of the pitfalls such pressure takes on the human psyche. I’m glad to see those who need it are getting help.

Currently in play and adding to the problem is the economic chaos that seems to have ensued. Says the WSJ piece:

A volatile economic outlook is sowing even more unease than the huge job cuts and billion-pound bailouts that characterized the global economic-crisis years of 2008 and 2009, says Mr. Weaver, [a] psychotherapist. The worst of the crisis may be behind us, he says, but the continuing nervousness about the economic situation is breeding fear. “Uncertainty, rather than ups and downs, is what people find hard to cope with. They feel out of control,” he adds.

This is all, from what I have seen, true, however, there is one glaring omission from the article: The role of drugs and alcohol.

Today more than ever some dough-jockeys (and others in high-pressure careers), are not only relieving their stress after work by partying with alcohol but have few qualms about using heroin, cocaine (that has been a problem for nearly three decades in the financial world), and other hard drugs.

In the limited amount of leisure time many high-fliers have, the addition of alcohol and drugs to the already volatile mix of intense pressure to perform is often the biggest trigger for mental health issues.