Dealing with Depression at Work

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Depression results in nearly $12 billion in lost workdays annually. Usually temporary and sometimes permanent, depression leads to reduced productivity, lost concentration and impaired decision-making. When tied to substance abuse, depression can rob employers of a once valued employee.

Dealing with depression isn't always easy. The causes may be deeply personal. If the condition is seriously beginning to affect your work, you must address it. Some workplace guidelines:

Consult with your priest, pastor, rabbi or religious advisor. If your condition is serious, seek professional help.

Ask your supervisor for some time off, or at the very least, a reduced schedule. See if your employee health program covers depression. If you feel comfortable doing so, talk with your supervisor or manager and explain your situation. Assure him or her that you are getting professional help. That said, as a general rule, you should talk to your boss about being depressed only when it's clear that your performance has suffered and you are afraid that you are going to be fired.

Talking to co-workers about your depression is not always advisable. Misinformation and rumors spread like wildfire throughout a company and can lead to all sorts of problems. This could affect your potential for advancement.

Address the cause of your depression. Most depression is related to money, family or job. Depression on the job can be related to how a business operates—whether it's job responsibilities, reviews or promotions. Stress and overwork, particularly in these bad economic times, can lead to depression. The good news is that depression is very treatable. Scientific evidence has shown that a combination of medicine and talk therapy can solve most cases of depression.

For an additional perspective, check out this video, Depression in the Workplace

For more information on administrative jobs, check out:

Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients.


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