Saturday, April 13, 2024

Depression Making It Hard To Work

You Have To Prove That Youre Struggling And Need Help

Trying To Work When You’re Depressed | How To Make The Hard Choice

Living with high-functioning depression is very hard. Even though you can go through work and life and mostly get things done, youre not getting them done to your full potential.

Beyond that, no one really believes youre struggling because your life isnt falling apart yet. I was suicidal and close to ending it all in university and no one would believe me because I wasnt failing out of school or dressing like a complete mess. At work, its the same. We need to believe people when they ask for support.

Lastly, a lot of mental health services have needs-based requirements, where you have to appear a certain amount of depressed to get support. Even if my mood is really low and I am constantly considering suicide, I have to lie about my functioning to be able to access services.

Alicia, mental health speaker/writer, Toronto

How Do I Know Its Depression

Most people will feel down or sad in the workplace at some stage these feelings are entirely normal. Whats important is that youre aware of the symptoms of depression, so you can recognise when your feelings are moving into more damaging territory and act if you need to.

Its also important to recognise when your feelings might be workplace stress, rather than depression. Typically, you should be able to identify the cause of your workplace stress it might be an upcoming presentation, a tight deadline or particularly long workday. When that trigger passes, your feelings of stress should pass too.

Depression, on the other hand, is characterised more by an increased feeling of sadness and guilt, often seemingly without any explanation. You might also lack motivation and focus in your role.

Getting Help For Depression

Depression is a health condition like any other, and its important people speak to their doctor if theyre experiencing symptoms or struggling with low mood, Khatri said. Treating depression is key to managing its symptoms.

A health professional will recommend the best treatment plan, which can include medication and therapy. Joordens says cognitive behaviour therapy can be very helpful in treating depression as it helps change thinking patterns.

In addition to treatment, Khatri said doctors can also help patients figure out a professional plan that may include accommodations at work or a leave of absence.

Its important to focus on the basics when depression can make even the smallest task seem like an effort, she said. Doing your best to get adequate rest, sleep, eating well and reaching out to supportive friends and family is key.

Theres unfortunately still a stigma around mental health issues, which can prevent employees from seeking help or asking for accommodations. But workplaces need to recognize depression as a serious health issue, and implement ways to support workers, Khatri said.

READ MORE: Depression isnt like a broken bone Steps to overcome this common mental illness

Its also vital for workplaces to model positive mental health behaviour, she said.

Cultivating a culture of psychological safety, so that everyone at work feels welcome, safe, comfortable, confident, and feel that they can share ideas and speak up when they want or need to is key.

Recommended Reading: I Think I Suffer From Depression

Create Your Own Hand Scrub

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Consider A Medication For Depression

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Depression comes with a lot of symptoms that make it difficult to navigate a complicated issue like debt. If your body and mind are fatigued, youre feeling hopeless, and you can barely get out of bed, dealing with money issues is going to seem impossible.

If you dont already have a diagnosis or treatment plan, you can reach out to a health professional to discuss treatment options like medications and therapy.

You wouldnt argue with your cardiologist about taking high blood pressure meds, says Marter. So remove the stigma from mental health and recognize that a low dose of an antidepressant can help you feel better, so you can take the steps to improve your financial life.

Read Also: Is Constant Crying A Sign Of Depression

Dealing With Depression At Work: What You Need To Know

A few months ago, I told you how a quarter-life crisis catapulted me into a severe depression, and my story of recovering. The response I received from that piece since tells me that Im not alone in this plight, and that many of us have experienced a similar personal crisis. And a recent article on Forbes confirmed that more millennials are suffering from depression, anxiety, or some other form of mood disorder than ever before.

One of the hardest parts of my ordeal was that, in the midst of it all, I still had to be a functional adult and stay on top of my job responsibilities. And while there are many great books online about how to deal with depression or anxiety at work, I also want to share some suggestions based on my own experience for making it throughand even thriving.

Dealing With The Winter Blues

For some people, the reduced daylight hours of winter lead to a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder . SAD can make you feel like a completely different person to who you are in the summer: hopeless, sad, tense, or stressed, with no interest in friends or activities you normally love. No matter how hopeless you feel, though, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your mood stable throughout the year.

Don’t Miss: Natural Cures For Seasonal Depression

What Treatment Should I Be Offered

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence writes guidance on what treatment doctors should offer you. But your doctor does not have to give you these treatments. And the treatments may not be available in your area.

Different treatments may be available in your area. Your doctor might think these suit your symptoms more than the recommended treatments.

NICE recommend that depression is treated in different steps depending on how severe the condition is for you. The steps are as follows.

Step 1: Everyone who may have depression

Your doctor should offer you:

  • an assessment of your symptoms,
  • support, such as regular appointments in person or by telephone,
  • information on how to deal with your symptoms,
  • monitoring of your symptoms and follow-up, and
  • referral for further assessment and treatment if needed.

Step 2: Mild to moderate depression

Your doctor may offer you:

  • low-intensity interventions, such as self-help guided by the doctor or computerised cognitive behavioural therapy ,
  • physical activity programmes,
  • group cognitive behavioural therapy ,
  • medication if you have a history of moderate or severe depression, or you have had symptoms for a long time, and
  • referral for further assessment and treatment if needed.

Step 3: Moderate to severe depression, or mild to moderate depression when other treatments havent worked

Your doctor may suggest:

Step 4: Severe and complex depression or if your life is at risk Your doctor may suggest:

  • medication,

Set Small Realistic Goals For Yourself

How do I Deal with Depression

You may have credit card debt, student loan debt, or even a car loan which adds up to an amount of money thats pretty difficult to stomach.

Its easy to feel discouraged and hopeless in the face of such a high price tag, so try breaking it down into smaller, more manageable pieces to focus on.

Instead of being downcast by how large your credit card balance is, you can try hiding your credit card in your house and decide to pay a little over the minimum payment required each month.

Dont think about how much money it will take to pay the entire credit card off, but set a small goal of paying down $200 to start, then $400, and so on.

It may not seem like youre making significant progress right now, but over the course of a few months, you may start to feel better as you see that balance slowly becoming more and more manageable.

Don’t Miss: What Should You Do If Your Depressed

Leaving Things To The Last Minute

Procrastination is another very common student issue, which can be closely linked with any or all of the other issues discussed on this page. It is also a very common part of the depression habit spiral the more things get put off, the more overwhelming they seem. Procrastination is particularly linked to the depressed thinking habits of perfectionism, self-bullying and all-or-nothing thinking.

There are a number of things we can do to support ourselves in getting things done. Have a look at the Making Changes information on this site for some ideas.

What If My Symptoms Dont Improve

If youre not responding to treatment, you may live with treatment resistant depression. This is when your symptoms have not improved after at least 2 standard treatments. This can also be known as treatment-refractory depression.

There is currently no official criteria used to diagnose treatment resistant depression.

What treatment is available for treatment-resistant depression?There are treatment options for treatment resistant depression. Even if antidepressants have not worked already for you, your doctor may suggest a different antidepressant from a different class.

The new antidepressant you are offered will depend on the first antidepressant you were given.

Sometimes your doctor can prescribe a second type of medication to go with your antidepressant. This can sometimes help the antidepressant work better than it does by itself.

Where antidepressants have not worked, your doctor may suggest talking therapies, ECT or brain stimulation treatments. See the previous section for more information on these.

What is an implanted vagus nerve stimulator, and how is it used in treatment resistant depression?If you live with treatment resistant depression, and youve not responded to other treatments, you may be able ask for an implanted vagus nerve stimulator.

Please speak to your doctor if youre interested in this treatment and for more information. You may be able to get this treatment funded through an Individual Funding Request.

  • NHS – Your Rights by clicking here.

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Consider Seeking Support For Depression

Depression is a serious mental health condition that affects millions of people. While it may feel like your debt depression would go away if you just had more money, it can take time before you become financially stable.

Plus, debt might not be the only thing causing your depression symptoms. Other causes could benefit from treatment.

If you arent sure if therapy is right for you, Marter suggests reframing therapy as a routine and preventive form of healthcare, like going to the dentist or the doctor.

Your mental health is important. In the same way youd see a doctor if you were having physical pain, a mental health pro can help you work through emotional and psychological pain.

Even if you have financial limitations, there are ways you may be able to meet with a therapist.

They Can Be Unusually Irritable

Being Open About Depression at Work

A depressed persons behavior might be interpreted as melancholy even if thats not what theyre really feeling. Irritability is a frequently overlooked symptom of depression that is also very common. This should be understandable, since depression is a health problem you cant see or strictly measure, making it hard to combat.

The constant work it takes to keep up all the necessary aspects of life while dealing with depression also drains the person, and leaves little room for patience or understanding.

If someone you know discovers theyre clinically depressed and shares this with you, you may initially be confused if their previous behavior didnt fit the common misconception of the shy, silent depressed person. If they tend to have a short temper and are quick to annoy, thats actually a side effect of depression.

Don’t Miss: Can A Traumatic Event Cause Depression

My Anxiety & Depression At Work

Friday, 30 October 2015

Helen is a 999 call handler and blogs about her experience with anxiety and depression at work.

From a very early age Ive always wanted to work with the police. So when a job as a call handler came up I applied and got it first time. Ive been there ever since.

“…you dont even want to get out of bed, you just want to hide.”

When I first started the role we took non-emergency calls. A few years ago we started taking 999 calls too. The job is brilliant every day is different. You never know whats on the end of the phone when it rings.

Looking back, I can see signs of mental health issues started to appear when I was a teenager but nothing was really diagnosed until about 15 years ago. So I had a mental health problem before I started with the emergency services.

“…your mind is telling you that you want to hide and run away.”

It was around three years ago when I suffered panic attacks. I was feeling sick, not wanting to go into work. I had depression as well you dont even want to get out of bed, you just want to hide. I work in a room full of 30 or 40 people and I felt like I was the only person in there. You can feel so alone and you just want to hide in a cupboard. Its like youre in a little bubble.

“It was nerve-wracking going back after being off sick.”

“The more I have spoken about it…the more support I have gained.”

  • If you are having problems at work, there is support out there for you.

Potential Triggers Of Work Depression

The relationship between work and depression is one that can work both ways. Depression can impact your ability to perform your job well, and stress at work can also contribute to a person becoming depressed. Some work-related triggers that can cause major depression or stress include:

  • A high workload
  • Being asked to do things outside your competency level
  • Sudden changes or difficulties with colleagues
  • Inflexible working hours
  • Poor management processes and/or communication
  • Unclear objectives and a lack of support for your work

Recommended Reading: Major Depressive Disorder Medication List

What Is A Mental Impairment

In terms of the ADA, a mental impairment includes mental or psychological disorders such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders , schizophrenia, and personality disorders.

Problems not covered by the ADA include adjustment disorders, relationship troubles, or illegal drug use. In addition, behavior “traits” such as irritability or stress are not included.

Even if these conditions aren’t continual, but cause flare-ups of impairment, they qualify under the ADA as long as the disorder is considered a long-term problem.

Usually a condition has to be present for several months before it qualifies as a long-term problem. Disorders that are included in the definition of disability are those that are permanent or have potentially long-term effects, not those that are temporary such as the break up of a relationship.

You Complain About Work A Lot

DEPRESSION AT WORK: 6 TIPS TO GET THROUGH!

If you’re truly unhappy and unfulfilled with your job, you may start to spend a lot of time and energy explaining to friends, family, and anyone who will listen just how bad your job is at the moment.

This release might feel good in the moment, but Morin said it’s not healthy because it “robs you of mental strength.” This, in turn, can increase your risk of distress.

Don’t Miss: How To Cure Depression And Anxiety Alone

More Than Sad: Depression Affects Your Ability To Think

ARCHIVED CONTENT: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date each article was posted or last reviewed. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

When you think of clinical depression, you probably think of feeling sad and down for long periods of time losing your energy and your interest in things you used to enjoy sleeping too much or too little, or eating too much or too little. But besides these, depression can actually change your ability to think. It can impair your attention and memory, as well as your information processing and decision-making skills. It can also lower your cognitive flexibility and executive functioning .

For people with severe depression, medications can provide some relief of low mood and energy, bolster the motivation to engage in enjoyable and important activities, and help people return to normal sleeping and eating patterns.

But we dont know whether antidepressant medications treat cognitive impairment related to depression. Recently, an international research team attempted to answer this question as part of a larger study on depression treatment. Their results were published in The Lancet last month.

They Can Develop Abnormal Eating Habits

Abnormal eating habits mainly develop for two reasons: as a form of coping, or as a side effect of lack of self-care. Eating too little or too much is a common sign of depression. Overeating is often shamed the most, when food can be the one source of pleasure a depressed person is able to give themselves and thus causes them to eat excessively.

When a depressed person is eating too little, its often because their depression is affecting their appetite and making eating unappealing. It can also be a subconscious need to control something, since they cannot control their depression. If someone is undiagnosed or has not shared that they have depression, people will assume their eating habits are a personal fault and judge them for it, making the person feel worse.

Also Check: How Long For Depression To Go Away

You Can Struggle To Focus And Feel Like Youre Not Performing To The Best Of Your Ability

Sometimes, nothing gets done. I can be in a long drawn out daze all day, or it takes all day to complete a few things. Since Im in public relations and I work with individuals and companies that champion a great cause, which often pull at peoples heartstrings, my work can take me into an even deeper depression.

I can be working on a story, and while Im typing I have tears streaming down my face. That may actually work to the advantage of my client because I have so much heart and passion around meaningful stories, but its pretty scary because the emotions run so deep.

Tonya, publicist, California

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