How to Cope With Depression in The Workplace
Have you ever watched that episode of The Office where Dwight and Michael create their own impromptu seminar on depression in the workplace? Through the course of their hilarious– and wildly inaccurate!– “seminar,” Dwight remarks, “Depression? Isn’t that just a fancy word for feeling bummed out?” This scene has become the subject of thousands of memes that we laugh about with friends. But, in addition to its humor value, we can also use this scenario to initiate a conversation about depression and the importance of nurturing your mental health in the workplace. In this article, we’ll learn more about depression and how you can prioritize your mental health at work.
What is Depression?
Depression is a very serious mental illness that affects more than 260 million people worldwide. Although the exact cause of depression is unknown, we do know that a variety of factors can contribute to the onset of depression, including brain chemistry, traumatic experiences, and other medical or mental health issues. The causes of depression can be as varied and as personal as the treatments, so if you’re struggling with depression, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional who can help you work through your experience.
What Does Depression Feel Like?
Everyone’s experience with depression is different, so certain people may experience different symptoms in varying degrees of severity. But as a general rule, depression is characterized by a pervasive sense of sadness that doesn’t go away. If you’re struggling with depression, you might feel lost, hopeless, or unable to find pleasure in things you used to enjoy. You might experience difficulty sleeping or eating. Some people struggle to eat or sleep at all while others use food and sleep as a coping mechanism. As a result, some people may attempt to stay in bed for most of the day or find comfort in consuming copious amounts of food.
Another classic hallmark of depression is a lack of motivation. If you feel lost, hopeless, and overwhelmed by despair, it’s very hard to find the motivation to perform your daily tasks. The inability to engage in your usual activities may also compound your feelings of sadness, creating a cycle of disappointment and despair. This cycle can contribute to the feeling that your situation is hopeless and you may eventually feel that breaking the cycle of depression is impossible.
How Does Depression Affect a Person’s Performance at Work?
If you’re struggling with hopelessness and a loss of motivation, it’s understandable that it can be very difficult to do your best at work. In many cases, “doing your best” might feel like it’s totally off the table; you might feel that it’s impossible to even do your job, much less give it your best effort. So, it’s no surprise that depression can have a significant impact on your performance at work. As a result of depression, you might feel unable to do your job and this can put you at risk of losing your job or quitting in a moment of despair.
However, with that said, it’s important to remember that your ability to work and be productive does not define your value as a human being. Holding down a job is not the most important thing in life nor the most important reason to seek treatment for your mental health. But if your depression has become so severe that you are unable to provide for yourself or engage in the activities you usually enjoy, this is a sign that you may need to seek help so you can enjoy a better quality of life. Even if your depression makes you feel hopeless, you should know that you deserve to be happy and you deserve a fulfilling life. So, if your depression is making it difficult for you to create the life you want to have, it’s time to reach out for help.
How to Get Help For Depression
If you’re ready to seek treatment for depression, taking the Mind Diagnostics’ free depression test is a good first step. Check it out here: https://www.mind-diagnostics.org/depression-test/
This test can help you evaluate your symptoms and that may make it easier to describe your symptoms to a therapist. And if you feel comfortable doing so, you can also speak with your employer about your experience with depression and how it’s impacting your performance at work. Campaigns to de-stigmatize mental illness have profoundly altered our society’s attitude toward mental health and there is a good chance that your employer might be willing to support you in your battle with depression. Whether that means providing an insurance plan that covers sessions with a therapist or giving you some time off, your employer might be able to support your mental health in a variety of ways. So, don’t be afraid to reach out for help and open up about your struggle with depression in the workplace!
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