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Dealing With Depression at Work: What You Need to Know

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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Dealing With Depression at Work: What You Need to Know

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

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Key Ideas

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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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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Identify your triggers
Identify your triggers

When you identify what's causing you stress, it becomes much easier to manage it:

  • At times it’s not that difficult to spot the root of your mental health issues: an external anno...
Assess what you can change

When you recognize your external triggers, you can figure out what changes you can make to manage them.

  • If having too many Zoom meetings is draining your energy, see if you can make your meetings shorter, or assess when and where you presence is not critically needed.
  • If you’re stretched too thin and have the power to do so, you can think about delegating, or ask your boss what you should prioritize and what you can complete later.
Asking for professional help

Sometimes eliminating external stressors just isn't enough. When you find yourself in a prolonged state of stress, it’s time to get the help of a professional.

Chronic stress can have a negative impact on your quality of life and can also make physical health issues worse.

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.

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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...

Think About Your Anger

Many people who suffer from depression are actually masking a feeling of anger, turning their rage toward someone else on themselves.

By acknowledging and accepting or discussing your angry feelings, you are much less likely to turn these feelings against yourself or allow them to lead you into a depressed state.

Be Active

It's a physiological fact that activity fights depression. 

Get your heart rate up 20 minutes a day, five days a week, and it has been scientifically proven that you will feel better emotionally.

Even just getting out of the house for a walk, a game of catch with your kids, or a trip to the gym is a medically proven method of improving the way you feel.

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How depression is measured

Depression is often measured by scientists using something called the Hamilton Scale. It runs from 0 (where you are dancing in ecstasy) to 59 (where you are suicidal). 

Causes of depression

Many leading scientists believe the whole idea that depression is caused by a “chemically imbalanced” brain is wrong. 

There are in fact nine major causes of depression and anxiety that are unfolding all around us. Two are biological, and seven are out in here in the world, rather than sealed away inside our skulls.

Childhood trauma can cause depression

When you’re a child, you have very little power to change your environment. So, you have two choices.

  1. You can admit to yourself that you are powerless and there’s simply nothing you can do about it.
  2. You can tell yourself it’s your fault and at some strange level under your control. If you were responsible for being hurt, then at some level, you have to think you deserved it.

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Depression and medication

Doctors for long treated depression as something inside your brain, which can be treated with meds, with no outside influence.

Certain exceptions (like losing a loved one and this leadi...

Isolated diagnosis

To treat someone who seemingly has depression, while isolating this from any other situation, event or circumstance that might have triggered it is a flawed way to diagnose a potential mental illness.

The root cause of the problem of depression is not addressed in this way.

Happy pills

Antidepressant prescription and eventually their doses have doubled over the past decade, yet depression and anxiety are spiraling out of control.

The real cause of depression does not seem to be completely inside our heads, and pill-popping is just a stop-gap measure, which may even be harmful.

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Psychological Effects of Working from Home
  • Loneliness and isolation. And loneliness is associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and somatic symptoms like random pain.
  • Anxiety and pressure. The bounda...
Symptoms of Depression
  • Angry outbursts, irritability, or frustration, even with unimportant matters.
  • Loss of interest or happiness in activities such as sex or hobbies.
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia and sleeping too much.
  • Tiredness and lack of energy for even the smallest activities.
  • Increased cravings for food.
  • Anxiety, agitation, and restlessness.
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
  • Avoiding people.
Take Care of Your Mental Health

...while working from home:

  • Create a schedule and stick to it. Scheduling your tasks (and breaks) will help you to mentally prepare for the day.
  • Have a dedicated comfortable workspace, with a door that closes, preferably.
  • Fight the urge to stay sedentary and schedule active time to get your heart pumping.
  • Foster social connections (on the phone or via the internet, if physical contact is not possible).
  • Learn to say no. Know your limitations, set boundaries based on your schedule and workload, and don’t extend yourself beyond them.
Understand the process
Understand the process

There has recently been an important change in the way clinical psychology is being handled.

Nowadays, it can be clearly seen that what is the most important is the understanding o...

Process Based Therapy

Process Based Therapy bases itself on Network Science, which emphasis the importance of networks, nodes and possible barriers to change in order to get a better understanding of the mental illnesses.

Process Based Therapy implies the belief that variation and flexibility are the elements that influence the most your recovery.

Extended Evolutionary Meta Model

This Meta Model refers to the idea according to which dynamic and complex networks change or shift dramatically rather than gradually.

When this occurs, the so-called Process Based Therapy aims to turn the network from maladaptive to adaptive while using strategies such as exposure or mindfulness.

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Seeking Therapy
Seeking Therapy

Finding the right therapist for one's psychological problems can be a daunting task. It takes time and effort but can be done if one is equipped with the right information.

It is common ...

Kinds of Therapy

Most therapists are equipped with multiple approaches and can tailor them based on one's specific needs. The two common types of therapy are:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy(CBT): Identifies and monitors and corrects unhealthy behavioral patterns. It is effective in treating general anxiety.
  • Psychodynamic Therapy: Goes deep into one's past, family, and relationships. It is considered effective in treating certain disorders and depression.

Finding The Right Therapist
  • In looking for the right therapist, it is best to locate one through a referral, if your friends are comfortable providing one.
  • You can also search the internet, looking for licensed practitioners in your area. 
  • Take a look at your insurance plans database and see if you find a good one that can also be covered by insurance.
  • A good therapist may not have a big online footprint. Shortlist about five therapists and get in touch with them personally.

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Go Sooner Than Later

Most couples don't consider counseling until a real crisis or a catastrophe appears.

It is better to go to couples counseling during a specific life event, strengthening some piece of a rela...

Finding The Right Therapist

Finding a suitable therapist, right for both the partners can take time. Take into consideration:

  • Both partners are comfortable with the choice.
  • Any preferences (gender or cultural background) are taken into account.
  • It should be convenient to schedule an appointment with him, not interfering with other commitments too much.
  • At least two kinds of counselors are spoken to, and then a decision taken.
  • Check online for recommendations or ask for a referral within your friend circle.
Types of Therapies

A good therapist can utilize multiple approaches and will tailor the provided therapy based on the couple's needs. The common therapies are:

  • Gottman Method: Focused on positive communication
  • Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT): helps couples with their emotional needs.
  • Imago Relationship Therapy: Connecting new relationships with old ones.
  • Other approaches like Hypnosis, sex therapy, etc.

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