Depression is often a topic that goes unspoken and it’s time to start talking openly about depression so people can feel empowered to seek help if needed. Many people suffer in silence, afraid of the stigma associated with depression but depression is like any other treatable medical condition.
Everyone goes through a variety of moods throughout the day. You might be happy one minute and angry about something a few hours later. But depression involves a consistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest, and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.
Approximately one in ten working-age people will experience depression, that’s millions of people and most don’t even realize they are depressed. They might think “I’m just in a fog” or “having a bad day.” If those bad days start accumulating you might be depressed. Other symptoms may include trouble making decisions, lack of interest in activities, slowed thoughts and difficulty concentrating.
Depression ranks among the top three workplace problems and can take a significant toll on employees and employers. If an employee isn’t sleeping, feels down and hopeless, has difficulty concentrating and a loss of energy, it can be very difficult for them to perform their job. The impacts on job performance include decreased productivity, absenteeism, and inability to think clearly and make decisions. No matter what kind of job, depression can quickly create major problems on the job.
With early recognition job performance at work can improve and symptoms of depression can be alleviated with proper diagnosis and treatment. Most employees can overcome clinical depression and pick up where they left off, but approximately only one-third of people with diagnosable mental health conditions seek help.
We all can play a part in helping people get healthy. People struggling with depression will be less impaired at work if they seek help. By talking openly about depression, sharing information and solutions we can reduce the stigma associated with mental illness so individuals living with depression feel comfortable reaching out for support.
Often employees fail to seek help until it’s too late. They are too embarrassed, think they can’t afford it or don’t know where to find resources. Support and resources are out there – Reach out for help when you need it.
Who should you contact for help?
- Call a friend, family member, co-worker, someone you trust to assist you in finding help.
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers a wide variety of services for employees and their family members to resolve personal and workplace problems. Their sole purpose is to provide help.
- Contact your Insurance Plan / Find a Mental Health Professional
- SmartHealth offers easy-to-use, interactive tools, and a variety of support topics to help take steps to improve your health and well-being.
- 24-Hour Crisis Line provides immediate help to individuals, families and friends of people in emotional crisis.
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America provides information about treatment options, finding a therapist near you, getting support and how to help others struggling with anxiety, depression, and related disorders.
- Other Mental Health Resources