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How To Cope With Depression At Work

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.

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How To Cope With Depression At Work

How To Cope With Depression At Work

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/work-and-depression_n_5823534

huffpost.com

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Key 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. 
  • It's hard to concentrate and impossible to summon up a positive attitude. 
  • Your productivity is down the drain.
  • Deadlines don't motivate you.
  • You're calling in sick or you're burying yourself in tasks to avoid your emotions. 

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." 

Workplace insurance

With chronic conditions -- like depression -- you have workplace protections against discrimination. 

Many workplaces have employee assistance programs that include confidential mental health services. Also, look into your health insurance coverage for treatment including counseling and medication.

Telling your boss

Before you disclose your diagnosis, it helps to assess your relationship with your boss and to determine how much information you feel comfortable sharing. 

Take care of your body

  • Get enough sleep at night.
  • Nourish yourself properly – even when it's difficult to put food in your mouth.
  • Take a walk when you can; a light jog or run can churn up endorphins to ease some depression symptoms. 
  • Meditation helps some people with depression or stress.

Office parties

Withdrawal is a symptom of depression, not a solution. Work-social gatherings meant to be fun can feel more like torture. 

You might be able to manage five minutes, maybe catch up on a work discussion with a colleague in a quiet corner, then leave. If you've shared your struggle with an office buddy or two, they can help by hanging out with you away from the action.

Tap into peer support 

If you're not dealing with depression but want to be more attuned to your colleagues, step away from the computer every so often. 

Just walk the hall, poke your head in a few offices and say hello... It never does more harm than good to ask how somebody's doing: 'You seem a little low today; is everything OK?'

Reach out to loved ones

Depression can run in families, and some of your relatives may have already been there themselves. They may be further along in managing their condition and can give you pointers on how to get through the day. 

Anticipate job triggers

As you get a handle on depression, you develop your personal tool kit to manage it. 

Sometimes you can anticipate depression triggers and prepare in advance. 

Know when to seek help

Even people who are in treatment and have learned how to cope can still return to an acute phase of depression that leaves them totally withdrawn. 

Whether they're mostly relying on medications or counseling, they may need a"therapeutic reset." 

Be easy on yourself

You're not alone – and once you start talking about this condition, you'll find that there are more people who are sympathetic to you than those who are critical.

While you're being proactive about treatment, take it one day at a time and be very gentle with yourself.

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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.

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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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Michael Kerr

In workplaces that encourage people to be themselves--that are less hierarchical and more innovative--people tend..."

Michael Kerr
Why humor is a key to success at work
  • People will enjoy working with you.
  • Humor is a potent stress buster.
  • It is humanizing.
  • It puts others at ease.
  • Ha + ha = aha!  Humor is a key ingredient in creative thinking.
  • It helps build trust.
  • It boosts morale.
  • People who use humor tend to be more approachable.
  • Humor can allow your company to stand out.
  • It can increase productivity.
Disengaged Employees

Engagement at work is a sign of employee motivation and resulting productivity. Unfortunately, only about 13% of people globally are engaged at work, and disengaged employees cost the economy $5...

What Not To Do
  • Do not make assumptions about a disengaged employee's performance. While statistically, such employees do underperform, there can be other reasons too.
  • Do not force an employee to be someone they are not. Everyone cannot be happy and optimistic all the time.
  • Do not get emotional, and stick to a transactional, formal, work-focused style. Do not expect to win their hearts or influence them by appealing to their emotions.
  • Do not assign employees tasks beyond their area of expertise.
Approaching Disengaged Employees
  • Use extrinsic motivating factors such as incentives and rewards to get productivity from a disengaged employee.
  • Understand what drives them, connect with them, gaining their trust and respect without being emotional, and focus on what they value.
  • Respect an employee's personal space and their need to distance their problems from their work.

Ultimately, it is what an employee delivers that matters most, and a manager has to focus on figuring out how to get the work done.

Mental Health In Today’s World
Mental Health In Today’s World

In an increasingly complex and competitive globalized environment, the growth curve of mental illness is a serious concern, with statistics showing that 800,000 people commit suicide per year, and ...

Mental Health At The Workplace

Mental disorders that are unchecked and untreated in employees(and their family) often lead to reduced productivity, increase in workplace accidents, with a majority of the employees suffering from decreased concentration at work.

Treating mental health is not a big investment and employers can be the facilitators to reverse the grim scenario.

Employer Actions To Treat Mental Illness
  1. Becoming aware of the workplace environment and the policies that might adversely impact the employees.
  2. Learn from leaders and engage in employee wellbeing.
  3. Follow other companies who have taken necessary steps to curb mental health issues at the workplace.
  4. Understand the unique needs and opportunities of your workforce to develop tailored policies.
  5. Take practical steps like initiating training programs and facilitating the various workplace wellbeing strategies.
  6. Many workers have a stigma attached to seeking help for mental health problems and need to be educated about the process while making it frictionless.
  7. Remember that mental health is linked to everything, including physical and economic health.
Improve your diet and start moving
  • Wholefoods such as leafy green vegetables, legumes, whole grains, lean red meat, and seafood, provide nutrients that are important for optimal brain function. 
  • Many types of fitne...
Reduce your vices

People with alcohol and drug problems have a greater likelihood than average of having a mental illness and have far poorer health outcomes.

Stopping smoking is an important step, as nicotine-addicted people are constantly at the mercy of a withdrawal-craving cycle, which profoundly affects mood. 

Prioritize rest and sleep

Sleep hygiene techniques aim to improve sleep quality and help treat insomnia. 

They include: adjusting caffeine use, limiting exposure to the bed (regulating your sleep time and having a limited time to sleep),  limiting exposure to the blue light from smartphones, and making sure you get up at a similar time in the morning.

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The Limits of Objectivity

If you think you're really objective, you're wrong. We all like to think we are objective, but the reality is we all have biases that interfere with our ability to evaluate a situation accurately.

Find Your Weak Spots

We leave clues when we're less objective.

If you're getting irritated or highly emotional about a topic, you're probably not thinking rationally or objectively. You might be emotionally invested in the subject or hold particular beliefs that prevent you from looking at other viewpoints.

Seek Out Different Opinions

The best way to become more objective is to broaden the input you're receiving.

Build a network of people you respect who holds different viewpoints from your own. Seek out their opinions on various matters.

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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 situation

Complaining about a difficult work situation will not make it go away. Try to understand the situation, and find a way to understand and accept your colleagues.

People’s characters ...

Learn how to accept criticism

Sometimes it can help us identify weaknesses we didn’t know we had.

Analyze it and take what is helpful from it. If you find it is meaningless bitterness, disregard it immediately.

Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

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