Mental Health is a global concern being
given a higher than usual profile at the beginning of 2017.
Although it is not widely recognised, the
number of individuals suffering from depression whilst holding a job down is
significant. Forget the deadline burnouts and cases of the blues, we mean actual
According to Mental Health America, at any
given moment, 1 in 20 employees (5%) is struggling with some form of
And you simply don’t handle it through
sheer willpower; that would be misunderstanding the problem. Formal,
professional help is required although there is much that the individual can do
to help themselves in handling depression and its effects in the workplace:
Understanding depression in the workplace.
Common perception places depression as a
mood disorder influencing our overall emotional feeling. However, it also affects
concentration, physical health, personal performance capacity and much more.
The ability to function normally may adversely
affect both quality of life, work and job satisfaction.
Below are some effects on depression in the workplace:
· Relationships with colleagues: In a lot
of cases, depression will result in withdrawal from co-workers and potential
conflicts which can have a knock on effect to team and company performance.
· Job Performance: With depression, it is can
be difficult to handle day to day responsibilities and cope with changes in the
· Physical health deterioration: With
depression, the energy levels are affected, something made worse by insomnia or
disrupted sleep which all contribute to makes coping difficult and undermine
What can we do?
Firstly recognise the symptoms:
are constantly exhausted.
with colleagues takes ages.
prefer the company of your computer alone in your office, to liaising with
previously positive attitude is only rarely seen.
have low self esteem.
morale is low and productivity is going down the drains.
constantly tempted to call in sick because you are exhausted.
If some or all of these apply to you then
seek professional help and don’t let the onset of depression get a hold
Take a mental health break
When everything is just not clicking as is
supposed to, when your performance, morale and output are suffering and you
feel defeated, it is time to take a break and not just from your normal duties
in the workplace, but from everything else.
Taking a mental break may just be the
difference between proper recovery and total mental meltdown.
Set recovery as priority over your work.
Your work is important because that is how
you pay the bills and look after your family; but it is not the only aspect of
Even when there are deadlines to meet or
during busy periods, nothing is more important than your health.
Don’t beat yourself up; perfection is just a theory
Everyone suffers disappointments, seemingly
insurmountable obstacles, and mistakes are common to everyone; give yourself
breathing space for God’s sake! Re-adjust your expectations and attitudes
relative to your job. Why? Problems are inevitable and no one is perfect.
Establish symptom-specific methods:
The best way to address a problem is to
study it and work out appropriate ways to cope with it. This is especially so
with depression, particularly in the workplace. Identify particular symptoms
that you have noticed over the years and establish proper methods to deal with
For instance, if your concentration
suffers then why not break the work down into smaller manageable elements which
can make the overall task less onerous.
Job politics and diverse personalities are just part of the job
When working with different individuals,
some things such as conflicting interests and agendas are inevitable. This is
normal so do not let this get on top of you. Try to rationalise and recall that
similar situations have happened in the past and they were overcome.
No one is an island
No one goes through life alone. Even if
you live in an upmarket suburb and money is not a worry, you still need people;
whether it is food, transport, job, people are important in your life. Do not
go through everything alone, involve your co-workers where you can share
responsibilities, incorporate family members in your activities and use them when
you need a shoulder to lean on.
Remember, one of the ways to go about
handling depression is venting not concealing.
Not just with depression, but with any
other health concern, it can be very difficult to be at your best when
preoccupied with your health. Whether you are already working on it or just
beginning, it is important to have coping mechanisms that work for you – some
of the above will supplement the professional help that you should seek.
Remember – Mayfair Cares.