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Depression at Work: 4 Tips to get You back on Track By Amy Pierce Romine 15 Nov 2019

I believe depression at work is one of the hardest mental illness symptoms to manage. It kills productivity to the point that it becomes too costly to ignore. It is estimated that each year employers lose about $44 billion due to the ramifications of depression on the job site.

It’s no wonder there are stigmas towards mental health. Employers do not want to hire personnel whose illness causes problems to the point of missing work – for many days each calendar year. And if employers had a choice between someone else on the possible employee interview list, the hiring manager will not choose the person with a mental illness.

Individuals with depression at their profession, can have huge declines in their work performance. A person can develop one of two different attendance patterns: presenteeism and absenteeism. The former means you are “present” at work, but can “barely function”. Absenteeism is where the employee misses multiple days of work because of the depression.

When the depression at work sets in, it is a good idea to be prepared to combat some of the indicators such as fatigue, deep sadness, or lack of motivation. Below are four tips used to overcome depression at your occupation while getting things accomplished.

4 Tips to Defeat Depression at Work

Choose tasks that are easy and quick to finish. Clean out your email Inbox, send emails, do an office supply check for your work space, work on a PowerPoint presentation, or draft simple correspondence. These tasks may ease pressure from professional stress. These tasks take little to no effort so you can use this time to breathe.

Keep your mind active. When I lose my motivation to do anything, my thoughts turn negative. Often I will say to myself, “You are a failure at your job.” Or “Nobody likes you.” I need to shut these negative thoughts down and fast before it worsens! Examples: self-hypnosis, practice deep breathing, do some filing, or catch up with another colleague.

Get moving. This tip is my favorite one out of the four. When I feel the depression rolling in like a summer thunderstorm, I knew I needed to get up and move. I would push myself away from the desk and get moving…anywhere. To keep the fatigue from the depression from winning, I would take short walks that had a purpose. For instance: I went to the kitchen and filled up my water bottle, emptied my shred box, filing, or took the mail to the mail room.

Talk to your mental health providers. If you try these tips as well as others to assist with your depression during the work day, and they do not help, you need some bigger reinforcements. Your psychiatrist is a great place to start. He/she might need to adjust your medicine. Or you might need to make an emergency appointment with your therapist. During that session, the therapist could give you more ideas to lift the depression fog at work.

Remember, your treatment does not happen in a vacuum. The increased dose or newly added prescription might take a few weeks to really work. Be patient. Also, the new depression destroyer technique could take a little getting used to.

Conclusion If properly treated, depression at work can be managed. Instead of burning up sick time or personal time off, you can try these tips to support you in working with your depression on the job.