Worked to Death?

Sarvshreshth Gupta’s family is mourning the young man today after his death that appears to have been brought on by overwork. The 22-year-old was a recent college graduate who was working as an analyst for investment banking firm Goldman Sachs. It’s a job that comes with long hours and lots of pressure, and Gupta was finding it a difficult fit. He actually left the job earlier this year, feeling burned out after an especially busy period that included extremely late nights without much sleep. He was convinced to return, and Goldman Sachs provided him with a short vacation and access to counseling – the company is aware that young recruits often work too hard, and they have taken steps to encourage work-free weekends and reduce overwork. But for Gupta, the burnout quickly returned.

Studies have shown that overwork affects more than just our moods – stress can have a truly damaging effect on our health. If you regularly work more than 10 hours a day, your risk of a heart attack is increased by 60% over those who work more reasonable hours. Sleep deprivation can affect our concentration and dull our senses, producing symptoms similar to drunkenness and leaving us at risk for accidents. Stress can cause depression, make us more susceptible to catching colds and flu, and even promote chronic pain. It’s hard to live well in an environment when we never slow down. And sometimes, it can kill us. Gupta’s isn’t an isolated case – in Japan, there’s even a word for death by overwork: karoshi.

Gupta’s job put him on track for a brilliant and lucrative career, and it’s not hard to understand why a young graduate would work to put in the hours necessary to excel and advance in a coveted job. But instead of celebrating their son’s success, Gupta’s family is now mourning a son who’s gone much too soon.

Read more about Sarvshreshth Gupta on Mashable.