Cybersecurity Mental Health Warning — 1 In 6 CISOs Now Medicate Or Use Alcohol

A new global study of cybersecurity professionals has revealed the true extent to which the stresses and pressures facing the average CISO impact upon both professional and personal life. It should come as no surprise that stress is part of the job description for the CISO, and every one of the 408 questioned for the Life Inside the Perimeter: Understanding the Modern CISO report, commissioned by Nominet, said they were indeed experiencing stress. However, that 17% said that they had turned to medication or alcohol to help deal with that stress should be a statistic that shocks us all.

Stress is undoubtedly playing a part as far as the decline in the mental health of the modern CISO is concerned; 91% of the CISOs surveyed said the levels of stress they were suffering was moderate or high and 60% rarely disconnected from their work role. That 88% worked more than 40 hours per week isn’t a shocker, nor the 27% that work up to 60 hours, but with 1 in 5 being available 24/7 and 89% of U.S. based CISOs never having had a two week break from their job, the true extent of this disconnect problem becomes clear.  more

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The Vicious Cycle of Alcohol and Mental Health Disorders

An untreated or undiagnosed mental disorder can wreak havoc on an individual who is suffering from a disorder as well as those around them. When a person is suffering from a mental health disorder, often, they are unaware that the disorder exists. While the individual will not understand their feelings or the mental problems that they are suffering from, they may experience feelings of hopelessness, depression, anger, or impulsiveness. Because of this, they find themselves feeling lost and at times can turn to unhealthy behaviors in an attempt to numb their psychological suffering. This process is known as self-medicating. One of the most frequently used substances for self-medicating is alcohol, although illegal drugs are also commonly abused by those with mental health disorders. Although the alcohol may temporarily numb the symptoms that the user is experiencing, self-medicating can lead to serious problems.

When a person turns to alcohol for self-medicating purposes, they are more likely to become dependent upon alcohol than an individual who consumes alcohol without having a mental disorder. This is a result of trying to get rid of the psychiatric problems as well as possible impaired judgment as a result of the mental condition  more

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