Depression in the workplace manifests itself in particular with loss of motivation, sadness, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, boredom and even uncontrolled crying attacks. Many people respond to the specificity of their work, performance of duties under time pressure, excess tasks or a tense atmosphere. One stressful day at work shouldn’t be alarming. But what if these types of situations repeat themselves or eventually become the norm?
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Depression at Work – Causes
The State of Mental Health in America 2021 data indicates that the number of people seeking help to treat depression increased especially in 2019-2020. Among Americans every year, nearly 17 million people struggling with the problem of depression.
This means a 60 percent increase among the respondents. In 8 out of 10 of them, symptoms of early or severe depression have recently been diagnosed. According to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cause is a lifestyle that is mainly based on work. Professional activity, which takes an average of 8.5 hours a week and 5.5 hours at weekends, has a negative impact on mental health.
Keep in mind that work itself does not have to be a factor in causing depression right away. The appearance of this problem is greatly influenced by the working environment and atmosphere. Working in unfavorable conditions can significantly worsen the condition of people who have previously experienced depressive episodes or cause their development.
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According to Dr Rashmi Parmar, a psychiatrist at Community Psychiatry, “Any workplace or job can be a potential cause or contributor to depression depending on the level of stress and the support available in the workplace.”
Depression At Work and Stress at Work
It is normal to experience stress at work. In some cases, it happens that long-term stress can turn into depression. Neither of these feelings should be ignored. So what’s the difference between work stress and depression?
Stress At Work:
- the feeling of stress decreases when the stress factor disappears,
- occasional bouts of irritation or anxiety,
- muscle tightness or headaches.
Depression at work:
- endless sadness and tearfulness,
- persistent feeling of anxiety
- long-term problems with concentration,
- lack of a feeling of fulfillment in the work performed.
Depression and Remote Work
Since a bad work atmosphere is the main cause of depression, what about working remotely alone?
According to Parmar, remote work can be a kind of trap. On the one hand, the person working remotely has no direct contact with the toxic environment. On the other hand, working from home, it is easy to blur the line between professional and private life.
In extreme cases, in the absence of self-discipline, work may even take most of the day, which will significantly extend the working time. This can have a negative effect on the psyche of the person working in this way.