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How to Manage Depression at Work

By May 19, 2022November 2nd, 2023No Comments
How to Manage Depression at Work

If you suffer from depression, you may your work performance slipping, because it’s challenging to manage the symptoms of depression while at work.

It’s estimated that at least $44 billion is lost each year in the U.S. due to depression at work and the resulting unproductivity.  Studies show half of employees with depression do not receive treatment. However, with and the proper care, depression can get better and become manageable. Learn more about manage depression at work and how you can get help.

What is Work Depression?

Depression may affect work due to symptoms like lack of motivation, inability to focus, loss of energy, difficulty sleeping, and losing interest in the work you previously enjoyed. Depression is a complex disease that can be driven by a combination of things, including medical, emotional, and genetic factors, as well as environmental, situational, and even seasonal issues. The workplace may be just one of these factors. If you already battle with depression, then it’s possible you also need to manage depression at work.

Workplace Strategies

Try the following strategies to manage depression at work, and to improve your outlook and performance on the job:

Make Recovery Your Top Priority

Work is important, but it is only one aspect of your life. Recovery is your top priority. Find a treatment plan that works for you and use self-care strategies throughout the day.

Remember What’s Important About Work

It is rare to find a job that doesn’t involve challenging people, deadlines, and other stressors.  When work feels overwhelming, focus on the positive reasons why you work, including financial security, personal satisfaction, and the sense of community that comes from contributing to a team effort.

Don’t Expect Perfection

You will face disappointments, make mistakes, and have challenges at work – everyone does.  Adjust your attitude and expectations about yourself and your work, knowing that problems and interpersonal conflict happen in any job.

Think About the Future

Realize that problems in the past will not necessarily repeat themselves, especially if you have a treatment plan in place. Give yourself credit for the progress you are making, permission to start over, and the license to manage your depression, even at work.

Develop Symptom-Specific Strategies

Make sure to learn all you can about your illness and your specific symptoms. Take a close look at the symptoms that have tripped you up in the past, and develop specific strategies for countering each of them. For example, if your depression can make it hard to concentrate or if you feel overwhelmed when beginning a project, it might be helpful to break work assignments into smaller, more manageable steps that can be completed in shorter timeframes.

Get Support

Involving co-workers in shared responsibilities, asking family members to help with chores, or reaching out to a friend to listen to your ideas and concerns are all good strategies for accomplishing your goals without sacrificing your emotional health and recovery.

A New Challenge: Manage Depression During Remote Work

If you need to manage depression while you work from home, you probably face added stressors. When you’re used to working in an office around people, working from home can feel lonely and isolating, which can magnify depression. Plus, getting dressed and leaving the house may have provided structure to your day. With home and work in the same place, work-life balance issues may arise.

In most cases, the strategies above apply for both in-office and remote work. If you’re home, however, it may be a good idea to reach out to co-workers for help staying motivated and accountable. Other people checking in on you may help lessen the isolation and make depression more bearable.

Get Help

If you’ve begun seeking treatment and have tried multiple with no results, there are other options available to you. Treatments such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) or SPRAVATO® (esketamine) often work when other therapies and medications haven’t.

If you suffer from depression, don’t lose hope! With the right treatment plan, you can conquer your depression and feel happy again. Relief Mental Health can help you get to a better place. Call us at 630-703-2218 or via the form below to learn more about the right treatment option for you.

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