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Dealing With Depression at Work: What You Need to Know

https://www.themuse.com/advice/dealing-with-depression-at-work-what-you-need-to-know

themuse.com

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 I'm not alone in this plight, and that many of us have experienced a similar personal crisis.

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Get Help

Get Help

Working with a therapist or support group is the best way to help you cope with your symptoms, which in turn will help you better manage your professional life.

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Find Support

It’s key to find trusted friends or family who can support you through this difficult time. 

Participating in a depression and anxiety therapy group is a great way to learn coping strategies for the workplace from other participants.

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Set Clear Goals

  • Set very clear goals for yourself and be realistic about what you would be able to accomplish. Do it on a daily basis.
  • Create lists for the day and highlight your top priorities.
  • Double-check any important memos, give yourself extra time to prepare assignments, and have a colleague give your work a second look.
The road to recovery is a marathon, not a sprint.

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Speak Up

If things are incredibly difficult, or if you need to take more time off than your mental health days allow, you may need to say something to your employer. 

Don’t feel obligated to disclose details. If you’re taking a lot of time off or you’re worried others will wonder what’s going on, you can tell them that you’ve been “dealing with some health issues” and leave it at that. Or, consult with HR to determine the best approach.

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Take Care of Yourself

It’s okay to take time to take care of yourself—in fact, it’s actually a very important factor in your professional success

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Recognize the signs

  • You're tired all the time. 
  • Cooperating with colleagues takes an enormous effort. 
  • You keep your office door shut and interact with your computer. 
  • ...

Take a mental health break

It's hard when you can't function as well as you're used to, but slogging on doesn't work when you're in a downward spiral. 

When you're at a crossroads in terms of your mental health, you need to really say, 'OK, I'm going to ask for five days off. That might mean the difference between me not having a mental health breakdown, or needing to take additional time off.

Find treatment

"Depression is no different from any other chronic condition," says Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO of Mental Health America. 

"To stay with it and maintain an independent and productive life -- it's important to identify it, get the appropriate treatment and then stick with that treatment." 

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Recognize Your Critical Self Attacks

Depression is often accompanied by a critical, self-destructive mentality that interferes with and distracts us from our daily lives. 

Ask yourself, would you think such cruel t...

Don't Isolate Yourself

When depressed, you may hear thoughts telling you to be alone, keep quiet and not to bother people with your problems. Do not listen to them. 

Confiding in a friend to lighten your burden can begin a process of ending your unhappiness. Even the simple act of putting yourself in a social atmosphere can lift your spirits. 

Do Things You Once Liked to Do

The times you feel most like slumping on the couch are the moments you should force yourself to take a walk, cook a meal, or call a friend. 

If you've ever been depressed before, do whatever it was that helped you feel better before. Act against the critical inner voice that tells you nothing will help. 

Reach out and stay connected

You may feel too exhausted to talk, ashamed at your situation, or guilty for neglecting certain relationships. But this is just the depression talking

Staying connected to ot...

How to reach out for support

  • Look for support from people who make you feel safe and cared for. They just need to be a good listener.
  • Make face-time a priority. Talking to someone face to face about how you feel can play a big role in relieving depression.
  • Try to keep up with social activities even if you don’t feel like it. 
  • Find ways to support others. 
  • Caring for a pet can get you outside of yourself and give you a sense of being needed.
  • Join a support group for depression. 

Do things that make you feel good

Do things that relax and energize you. This includes following a healthy lifestyle, learning how to better manage stress, setting limits on what you’re able to do, and scheduling fun activities into your day.

Even if your depression doesn’t lift immediately, you’ll gradually feel more upbeat and energetic as you make time for fun activities.