In recent years, the rate of people suffering from depression in the workplace has increased to an alarming rate. Faced with this situation, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that each individual and organization/company take timely intervention measures.
Depression in the workplace – An alarming situation
Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses today. In the past, depression was mainly caused by trauma or severe physical trauma. However, in recent years, chronic stress has also been identified as an increased risk factor for disease. Therefore, depression can appear in all subjects and in all circumstances.
Depression in the workplace is becoming a major social problem. In the office environment, each person himself has to face a lot of pressure from work and salary to disagreements and conflicts in relationships. Many people mistakenly think that only employees experience this condition, but in fact, leaders are also likely to face depression.
In May 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified workplace depression as a medical problem requiring intervention. Similar to common depression, this illness is defined as a chronic psychological disorder that causes sadness, depression, pessimism, fatigue, physical exhaustion, and reduced professional efficiency. and have negative thoughts, skepticism about work.
Currently, there are no official statistics on the percentage of people experiencing depression in the workplace. However, it is estimated that this number is increasing and will cause serious impacts if no remedial measures are taken. Most cases of depression in the workplace are mild. Therefore, it is necessary to intervene early to improve health and prevent the disease from progressing in a negative direction.
Signs of depression in the workplace
Depression has a gradual onset of symptoms and deepens over time. Most people with depression in the workplace experience long-term stress. Persistent stress is a key factor in the development of depression.
Depression in the workplace has a variety of manifestations, depending on the severity of the disease and the personality characteristics of each person. According to statistics, the proportion of women with the disease is higher than that of men and it is more common in people who are shy, anxious, lack management skills, etc. In addition, people who are too perfectionist are also likely to suffer from stress and anxiety. Depression is high due to putting a lot of pressure on yourself.
Signs of depression in the workplace:
- Feeling sad, depressed and pessimistic
- Losing interest in work and only completing tasks because of responsibility
- Always feel tired every time I come to the company and it takes a long time to start working
- The body is tired, sluggish, the face clearly shows the moodiness and boredom
- Reduced ability to concentrate, so work performance is reduced and mistakes are often encountered
- Not feeling any joy at work, little communication with colleagues.
- Some people feel guilt because they think they did a bad job leading to damage and consequences for the company.
- Sensitive to criticism, blame and sometimes cry for no reason.
- Impatient at work, some people may become agitated and irritable when things go wrong.
- Regular use of alcohol, tobacco, abuse of caffeine, etc.
- Depression in the workplace causes the same physical problems as regular depression. The most common are headaches, insomnia, stomach pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, etc.
- Loss of appetite or overeating
- Being harassed by colleagues in the company
Symptoms of depression can be confused with stress. However, nervous tension causes milder symptoms. Meanwhile, depression causes the patient to be deeply sad, completely lose interest, physically fatigued and have a marked decrease in energy.
Causes of depression in the workplace
The exact cause of depression is still unknown. Experts believe that the disease is related to genetics, physical and psychological trauma, lifestyle and accumulated stress. Depression in the workplace has been identified as being associated with the following factors:
- Excessive workload is the most common cause of depression in the workplace.
- Toxic working environment, lack of goodwill, restraint,…
- Are you doing things you don’t love?
- Unfavorable work, frequent mistakes lead to serious losses.
- A highly competitive working environment inadvertently creates pressure and increases the risk of stress and depression.
- Discord, conflict with colleagues.
- The job gives unstable income, the company does not have appropriate regimes and benefits for employees.
- The nature of the job requires frequent exposure to negative things (financial staff, customer service staff, etc.)
These factors contribute to an increased risk of depression in the workplace. However, not everyone with risk factors is likely to develop the condition. In fact, depression only occurs in people who already have predisposing factors such as:
- Genetics (family history of depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, etc.)
- Living with people with depression or people with negative thoughts and lifestyles
- Weak personality, lack of financial management skills, time and poor professional capacity
- Too perfectionist in life as well as work
- Unstable physical health (endocrine disorders, nervous breakdowns, chronic diseases, etc.)
- Using alcohol, tobacco and having an unhealthy lifestyle
- Life has too many pressures such as conflict with family, being cheated in love, unstable finances, etc.
Depression in the workplace is becoming more common in recent times. Although the exact cause has not been determined, experts say that work and financial pressure are the most important factors causing this disease. In particular, depression in the workplace often occurs in newcomers, changing fields or women returning to work after a long maternity leave.
Consequences of depression in the workplace
Depression in the workplace is becoming a big problem for individuals and also for organizations and companies. Depression reduces productivity and makes patients lose interest in work. With jobs that require creativity, it is almost impossible for patients to have breakthrough ideas and have a lot of difficulty making decisions.
Without treatment, patients may have to quit their jobs and face the risk of unemployment due to the inability to complete their work properly. Many people turn to alcohol and stimulants to forget the pressure and torment. However, these unhealthy habits inadvertently aggravate depression and reduce productivity over time.
People with depression not only have a sad, depressed and pessimistic mood, but also have a decrease in thinking ability, loss of flexibility, creativity, communication skills, judgment and management. These effects make it difficult for patients to maintain work as before.
Furthermore, depression in the workplace also affects those around them. Negative energy, moodiness and boredom of the patient will make those around them feel tired, difficult to concentrate and reduce work efficiency. For these reasons, companies/organizations need to take care of the spiritual life of their employees so that everyone has the opportunity to work in a healthy environment and give their best.
How to overcome and prevent depression in the workplace
Workplace depression is often milder than post-traumatic stress disorder. However, if not overcome, the situation will become more serious and sometimes leave extremely severe consequences. In addition to the skills for the job, each person needs to equip themselves with the knowledge to overcome and prevent depression in the workplace.
Here are some measures to help improve and prevent depression in the workplace:
1. Create a comfortable workspace
Your workspace is the environment you come into contact with every day. So, create inspiration and positive energy by decorating your desk. You can put pictures of yourself, family members or inspirational images. In addition, should arrange more trees at the desk to create a cool and comfortable space.
Trees not only filter the air, but also help reduce the harmful effects of blue light. Arrangement of trees in the office partly helps relieve stress (stress) and create inspiration when working. Instead of starting your day sluggishly, you can sip a cup of coffee and water the plants. Many studies have shown that plants are really effective in improving mental health and increasing inspiration and creativity.
2. Learn to say no to offers
In an office environment, each person will have a certain task, and at the same time must be responsible for supporting those around to create the best work performance. However, this does not mean that you are responsible for helping everyone. So learn to say no to offers that make you uncomfortable or tasks that are beyond your control.
In fact, helping people is also a way for us to hone our skills and expertise. But make sure you’re really comfortable and don’t take it all in. Because dealing with an excessive amount of work will drain energy, making the body exhausted, tired and long-term consequences are stress, depression, anxiety disorders.
3. Plan scientific work
A lot of people have difficulty at work due to inspiration and lack of calculation. In order to work effectively and complete the task properly, you should learn to plan scientifically. Plans need to be streamlined and appropriate for the time of day.
In fact, everyone’s biological clock will be different. Many people focus well in the morning, but there are also people who only feel awake in the afternoon and at night. Depending on the biological clock, you should arrange the work in the most suitable way to complete them quickly and accurately.
In each task, you should note the notes and instructions of your superiors to avoid mistakes. If the task is too much, you should mark it as complete to make sure you don’t miss any assigned tasks. Working with a plan will help you manage your time better, make fewer mistakes at work, and show professionalism and make a good impression in the eyes of your colleagues.
For important documents, you should copy and store in your computer, USB, etc. to avoid loss of level. Thoroughness in work will help you limit unwanted situations and can avoid bad games of colleagues.
4. Reconciliation of conflicts and conflicts in the relationship
Depression in the workplace sometimes comes from conflicts and conflicts in relationships with colleagues and superiors. If you are determined to work for a long time, you should reconcile the conflict so that you can work comfortably.
After resolving the conflict, you should learn to control your emotions and be cautious in your words to avoid conflicts. Keeping the working environment comfortable will help reduce some pressure and limit the risk of stress and depression.
5. Reasonable rest during working time
During the 8 hours of work, you should take a reasonable break to reduce stress and restore energy. The habit of working continuously will make the body tired and prone to errors. Therefore, you should rest in the afternoon for the body to recover energy.
After eating, it is recommended to take a nap for about 15-20 minutes to relax the brain. In the afternoon, you can have a cup of hot cocoa, coffee or tea to increase alertness.
If you are often tired, you should prepare some snacks such as dried nuts and fresh fruit to sip between hours. However, it is necessary to ensure that it does not affect the people around and should pay attention to limit the time to rest between hours so as not to affect the work.
6. Discuss your health status with your superiors
Depression in the workplace takes a toll on your health and makes it hard for you to get things done. Therefore, if you feel unwell, you should discuss your health status with your superiors. You can suggest reducing your workload or taking some time off to focus on improving your mental health.
Depression causes inhibited thinking, loss of judgment, difficulty making decisions and reduced skills needed. If you don’t talk to your boss first, you can make mistakes at work and sometimes leave extremely serious damage. So it’s a good idea to proactively talk about your own health if you’re dealing with depression and other mental disorders.
7. Changing jobs
In many cases, depression is caused by a fiercely competitive environment, too much pressure, or because you’re doing a job you don’t love. In this case, you should consider changing jobs if you feel “overwhelmed”.
In fact, many people have to choose a number of jobs for financial reasons. However, besides the income that this job brings, what you get is just stress, fatigue and emptiness. So, if necessary, you should consider changing jobs to stabilize your mind. More than anything, health is the most important thing for everyone.
8. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Lifestyle is one of the factors that affect depression. To overcome depression in the workplace, you should maintain a healthy lifestyle and stay away from bad habits. In addition, a scientific lifestyle also helps you maintain health and reduce the risk of physical and mental problems.
Start by exercising every day or at least 3-4 times per week. Besides, it is necessary to ensure that there is time to rest, relax and sleep for 7 hours/night. In addition, you also need to build a suitable diet to improve health, enhance brain activity and prevent neurasthenia. These healthy habits will help fight depression and improve overall health.
Absolutely avoid habits that make depression worse, such as smoking, alcohol use, stimulants and caffeine abuse. At the same time, you should limit refined grains, sugar and foods high in saturated fat.
Depression in the workplace is usually mild. However, in some cases, you need psychotherapy to calm your mind and learn to manage your emotions. Psychotherapy is carried out by means of communication between the specialist and the client. This method is currently a trend to help improve mental health for people suffering from depression, stress, anxiety disorders, body weakness and people with underlying mental illnesses.
When participating in psychotherapy, you will be guided by experts on how to manage your emotions, learn how to relieve stress and handle situations. In addition, experts will also arouse excitement and inspiration when working, and help you get rid of negative and pessimistic thoughts about work and yourself. Today, the role of psychotherapy is increasingly confirmed. Therefore, if necessary, you should seek the help of professionals.
Depression in the workplace is on the rise recently. Therefore, each person needs to equip themselves with knowledge and skills to avoid this situation. If you cannot improve yourself, you should seek the help of a psychologist for timely support.