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
Avoid Feeding Your Depression
Feeding depression creates a snowball effect: For example, if you throw a few crumbs out on your balcony or sidewalk, a few pigeons will show up. If you keep throwing out crumbs, by the end of the week a multitude of pigeons will have flocked to the area. Similarly, depression thrives on doubts, fears, and negative thoughts which feeds more depression. Learn to identify the negative thoughts and worries that are fueling your depression so you can replace them with positive, more realistic thoughts.
Improve Your Eating Habits
Research continues to find clear links between diet and mental health. In fact, there have been so many studies that have shown improving nutrition can prevent and treat mental illness that nutritional psychiatry is becoming mainstream.
There are many brain-essential nutrients that can affect depression. For example, a 2012 study found that zinc deficiency is associated with symptoms of depression.
Improving your diet could be key to reducing your symptoms.
But before you make any major changes to your diet or begin taking vitamins or supplements, talk with your physician.
Don’t Miss: What Does Major Depression Feel Like
Improve Your Sleep Hygiene
Sleep and mood are intimately related. A 2014 study found that 80% of people with major depressive disorder experience sleep disturbances.
But, you might feel like you just can’t fall asleep. Or perhaps you struggle to get out of bed because you feel exhausted all the time.
Good sleep hygiene could be key to improving the quality and quantity of your sleep.
Turn off electronics at least an hour before you go to bed. Use dim light to read a book or engage in another relaxing activity.
Only use your bed for sleep and sexual activity. Doing work in bed, or even in your bedroom, can cause you to associate your bed with stress, rather than relaxation.
If Youre Up For Exercise Consider A Walk Around The Block
On days when you feel as if you cant get out of bed, exercise may seem like the last thing youd want to do. However, exercise and physical activity can be powerful depression fighters.
If youre able to, take a walk around the block. Start with a five-minute walk and work your way up from there.
Sleep disturbances are common with depression. You may not sleep well, or you may sleep too much. Both can make depression symptoms worse.
Aim for eight hours of sleep per night. Try to get into ahealthy sleeping routine.
Recommended Reading: Signs Of Bipolar Manic Depression
If You Need To Wallow Wallow But Do So Constructively
Suppressing your feelings and emotions may seem like a strategic way to cope with the negative symptoms of depression. But this technique is ultimately unhealthy.
If youre having a down day, have it. Let yourself feel the emotions but dont stay there.
Consider writing or journaling about what youre experiencing. Then, when the feelings lift, write about that, too.
Seeing the ebb and flow of depressive symptoms can be instructive for both self-healing and hope.
Is Your Job Really The Culprit In Depression
“Work can’t actually cause depression,” said Clare Miller, director of the Partnership for Workplace Mental Health, an arm of the American Medical Association designed to help employers deal with and strengthen employee mental health. “If someone is predisposed to actually having depression, work can be a force of good or could be harmful. But someone can’t get depression simply from work. There need to be some other things going on there.”
Mental pain and suffering at work is not a small problem, though, and it does not just impact the individual. According to research released by Miller’s organization in May 2013, depression is a leading cause of lost productivity in the United States, costing employers $44 billion annually.
Elizabeth R. Lombardo, PhD, MS, PT, a Lake Forrest, Ill., psychologist and author of A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness, attributes this to what psychologists call “learned helplessness.”
“This is the sense that one has no control over their job – for fear of losing it, not having any power to make decisions, not having any control to make things better,” said Dr. Lombardo, adding that you may feel “powerless to make any changes or have an influence on the situation.”
Symptoms of depression that comes from learned helplessness may include:
- Giving up – not trying to make a difference
- Social withdrawal
- Low self-esteem
Also Check: Natural Supplements For Adhd And Depression
How It Affects Work
It is easy to see, from the symptoms listed above, why depression can make working difficult. It is hard to focus and interact with people for eight hours a day or more if you are unmotivated, restless, lack energy and so on. If you dont feel good about yourself or the future, you might wonder what the point of working is, or feel that you are not good enough to do the task. Such thoughts will also fog your brain and make it hard to concentrate. A lack of sleep naturally wont help matters.
More Spirit Fillers Less Time Killers
Very often, the cycle of depression feeds on itself. We feel depressed, so its really hard to find the motivation and energy to do the uplifting things that have the potential to feed our spirits. Then we feel even more depressed. And so it goes.
This tip is about raising your awareness of how you fill the hours in your day. Its far too easy to spend our days doing things that fill our time, but dont necessarily fill our spirits. I know it can be hard to break out of our usual routines and do something thats new or different or that might bring up emotions. But in the end, finding activities to fill our spirits helps so much with decreasing depression and increasing peace.
Of course, everyone needs to find what feeds their spirits. One person might love gardening and another person might find it to be a chore. One person might enjoy cooking and someone else doesnt like cooking at all. Its such an individual exploration, but the bottom line is, if we keep doing what were doing, were going to keep getting what were getting. If you have been spending a lot of time in negativity, inactivity, or isolation, in order to lift your spirits, youll need to make some changes.
Think about the ways that you spend your time. Not just the usual things you do each day like work, school, childcare or meal preparation, but the things you do in between the things you do:
You May Like: What To Do When You Are Severely Depressed
Whats The Difference Between Sadness And Depression
Whether youve lost a loved one, moved to a new place, or missed out on a job opportunity, there are plenty of stressful and upsetting events that can get you down. However, the difference between sadness and depression is that sadness usually passes with a little time, while depression is a mood disorder that can appear without any specific cause and last for two weeks or more.
Depression impacts almost every part of your life, interfering with how you think, feel, and go about your daily activities like sleeping, working, and socializing. Some common symptoms of depression include:
- Feeling empty
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than normal
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Loss of interest in hobbies or activities
- Irritability or restlessness
- Aches and pains without clear physical causes
- Thoughts of death or suicide
To be diagnosed with depression, these symptoms must be present nearly all day, every day for at least two weeks.
Make A Bedtime Routine
Sleep can have a huge impact on mood and mental health. A lack of sleep can contribute to symptoms of depression, and depression can interfere with sleep. To combat these effects, try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day, even at weekends.
Establish a nightly routine. Start winding down from 8 pm. Sip chamomile tea, read a book, or take a warm bath. Avoid screen time and caffeine. It may also be helpful to write in a journal before bed, especially for those whose racing thoughts keep them up.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Wife Out Of Depression
Separate Yourself From The Depression
A condition does not define a person they are not their illness. When depression symptoms begin, some people find it helpful to repeat: I am not depression, I just have depression.
A person should remind themselves of all the other aspects of themselves. They may also be a parent, sibling, friend, spouse, neighbor, and colleague. Each person has their own strengths, abilities, and positive qualities that make them who they are.
Seek Help From The Professionals
Long-term depression is not going to blow over. There are various places to find support: the first port of call is often your GP, because they can give you a referral, but be aware that they only have about 10 minutes with you and wont have time to talk through your issues for long. You should seek other support to find the source of your depressionunless you know the exact cause, in the case of a bereavement, for instance.
Your GP may refer you on to talking therapythere tends to be long waiting NHS lists for thisor, if your mental health condition is more severe, to psychiatric services. You can also seek private therapy. To find a suitable therapist in your area, see organisations such as BACP, Psychology Today, Counselling Directory and Welldoing.
Also Check: Depression Test Given By Doctors
Seeking Help For Depression
Get help if you’re still feeling down or depressed after a couple of weeks.
Treatments for depression include psychological therapies and antidepressants.
You can talk it through with your GP first if you prefer. Your GP can also tell you about antidepressants.
If you start to feel that your life isn’t worth living or about harming yourself, get help straight away.
- contact Samaritans on 116 123 for 24-hour confidential, non-judgemental emotional support
Why Is Dealing With Depression So Difficult
Depression drains your energy, hope, and drive, making it difficult to take the steps that will help you to feel better. Sometimes, just thinking about the things you should do to feel better, like exercising or spending time with friends, can seem exhausting or impossible to put into action.
Its the Catch-22 of depression recovery: The things that help the most are the things that are the most difficult to do. There is a big difference, however, between something thats difficult and something thats impossible. While recovering from depression isnt quick or easy, you do have more control than you realizeeven if your depression is severe and stubbornly persistent. The key is to start small and build from there. You may not have much energy, but by drawing on all your reserves, you should have enough to take a walk around the block or pick up the phone to call a loved one, for example.
Taking the first step is always the hardest. But going for a walk or getting up and dancing to your favorite music, for example, is something you can do right now. And it can substantially boost your mood and energy for several hourslong enough to put a second recovery step into action, such as preparing a mood-boosting meal or arranging to meet an old friend. By taking the following small but positive steps day by day, youll soon lift the heavy fog of depression and find yourself feeling happier, healthier, and more hopeful again.
Read Also: How Do I Fight My Depression
Set Your Messages Aside
A common symptom of depression is difficulty concentrating. If a constant flow of e-mails and phone calls is interrupting your train of thought, you may be diverted from the more important tasks you need to accomplish. If this is a challenge for you, resist the urge to constantly check your e-mail, and allow your phone calls to be handled by voicemail. Set aside several times throughout the day to respond to these messages.
How To Deal With Depression
This article was co-authored by Trudi Griffin, LPC, MS. Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin specializing in Addictions and Mental Health. She provides therapy to people who struggle with addictions, mental health, and trauma in community health settings and private practice. She received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011.There are 35 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 2,272,739 times.
Feeling down or sad is a natural part of life. People let us down, things go wrong, we lose people we love or the dreams we’ve valued. When feeling down stretches over weeks or months or is occurring frequently and interfering with your ability to interact with people and enjoy your life, it is likely that you’re experiencing some form of depression. Provided that you’re able to access information, medical professionals, and support networks around you, even severe depression is a highly treatable condition. XTrustworthy SourceNational Institute of Mental HealthInformational website from U.S. government focused on the understanding and treatment of mental illness.Go to source But no matter what, take matters into your own hands and take action if you are depressed.
Also Check: Is Spacing Out A Sign Of Depression
Getting Out Of A Funk: How To Help Yourself Through Depression
Everyone has off days where they feel tired, irritable, and sad. Its normal to feel sadness as a response to challenging life events, loss, or changes, but sometimes these feelings can stick around for a while if left unaddressed and make it difficult for you to get through each day.
Heres how you can tell when youre in a funk or maybe even experiencing a mild depression as well as what you can do to help yourself feel better.
‘i Don’t Want To Be There’
Doug Macintosh, a hair colorist at a New York City salon, said he has run into problems like this a few times in his career and is experiencing it now. When salon clients flock to him, he said, salon owners sometimes react badly.
“Owners start to see that I am busy and then they start to think that I’m gaining too much power over them, so they start applying more rules,” he said. “They start asking me to give up more freedom, and I start to get depressed and I don’t want to be there anymore.”
When he feels upset and depressed, he acts out negatively. “I start to show up late because I don’t want to be there,” he said. “I tend to have little panic attacks before I go into work so it takes me a little bit longer to get out. I’m usually in a very good mood, but when I get there I’m just about work. I don’t want to talk to anybody or be friends with anybody. I don’t show it to my clients, but my coworkers all can tell. They are like, ‘Don’t bother him.'”
To try to get himself through, Macintosh is trying physical exercise — kickboxing. “I’m so depressed right now I do that sometimes six times a week,” he said. “I love what I do, I just don’t love where I do it.”
Lombardo thinks exercise is a good way to work off steam, and workers have to somehow take back their sense of control in any situation that is adding to their distress.
Recommended Reading: Severe Depression In Young Adults
Vitamins And Other Nutrients
People who are low on vitamin D seem more likely to get depressed, but taking extra D doesn’t always help them feel better. Some studies show that EPA , found in fish oil, may help treat depression. L-methylfolate — shows promise for boosting the benefits of antidepressants in some patients. Talk to your doctor to see if it’s right for you.
What Are My Rights
If your suggestions are reasonable, your superiors should grant your request for accommodation. If you dont feel like youre able to do your job at all, reasonable accommodation may include unpaid leave so you can seek treatment. Another law, the Family and Medical Leave Act, allows workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave so they can deal with a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job.
Unless the accommodation involves significant difficulty or expense, your employer must provide it for you. If they do not, any worker can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission , a federal agency that administers and enforces civil rights laws against discrimination. They can investigate any complaint and determine whether the ADA was violated. Unless your employer is also covered by local or state employee discrimination law, workers must register their complaint with the EEOC within 180 days of the initial violation.