All the acts and the work that we do are somehow related to the brain. The way we feel, act, think and how well we interact with other is in coordination with the brain functioning. A person with a healthy brain tends to work well and manage things. However, the ones with a troubled brain struggle to manage the work and themselves.
Depression is a closet-disease. There is an estimation that an approximate number of 330 million individuals all over the globe, suffer from the harmful effects of depression. Any person can suffer from depression, regardless of gender, background, age or socio-economic status. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), the foremost source of disability in the U.S is depression. One amongst the five employees in an organization is depressed or has suffered from depressive disorder in the past or will remain depressed in the future.
The reports generated by the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) suggests that in a period of one year, 10% of the population are seen suffering from depression. One amongst ten, seek the right treatment and even the severe condition can be treated with extreme care. Every year, the treatment of depression outlays billions of dollars. The patients that show depressive symptoms are often bed ridden as compared to the sufferers of arthritis, lung problems, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems and back problems.
People who are suffering from depression find it difficult to concentrate at home as well as at work. They may also show a lack of interest or pleasures as well. They may be often struck with feelings of self-loathing and may have suicidal thoughts.
Symptoms and Signs of Depression at Workplace:
- Reduced productivity
- Be short of cooperation
- Non-attendance to a particular situation
- Underprivileged conduct and attitude
- Safety risks
- Use of drugs and alcohol
- Fatigue complaints and sudden aches.
The issues at the workplace may involve high job turnover rates, alcohol and drug abuse, problems with concentration, decreased productivity, complaints of aches and pains, nonattendance, problems with morale, safety risks, accidents, lack of cooperation and feeling tiresome at all times.
When a person is struck with depression in the workplace, it is necessary to seek the right treatment immediately. This is because; it can directly affect productivity and affect the employee relationship as well. When any head of the office is struck with depression, it might jeopardize the entire functioning of an organization.
Lack of Proper Reporting Because of Depression:
- Be deficient in awareness
- Concerns about the status of a job.
Almost all the major industries pay a considerable sum for people who do not report about the condition and do not seek the right treatment. Many a times, they are often unaware of the condition and fear that it might ruin their career as well.
4 Major Ways Depression Can Impact Your Working Ability
Low Productivity at Workplace due to Depression
Decrease in productivity is the primary impact of depression at work. It might begin with minor problems and a person might forget about the details. This may also be related to lack of concentration, interest and attention. When left untreated or unchecked, the problem can become grave, which will make it more difficult to handle in the later stages. There may be associated symptoms of insomnia and a decreased appetite as well as lack of energy. This will in turn affect the productivity of any organization. When the productivity decreases, a person tends to become more depressed and feel in despair at all times.
Lack of Responsibility at Work Because of Depression
Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness can work as a sidekick of depression. The feelings can overlap the motivation and enthusiasm that a person feels in relation to the work. Lack of motivation can often deprive a person from completing the work before the deadline. Such issues often begin with instances like being late for work or follow a pattern of being absent due to sickness or leaving early from work as well.
Increased in Accidents at Work Due to Depression
People who are depressed have their security at risk. The reaction time may be delayed and the hand-eye coordination may also be affected. They may be emotionally preoccupied that can further lead to absenteeism. When safety is all about being attentive and focused, depression can prove to be extremely dangerous. Alcohol, drug and substance abuse may be used to get rid of the feelings. When done on a frequent basis, it can land a person in huge trouble.
Increased Complains and Irritability at Workplace Due To Depression
Irritability can be considered as a common symptom of depression. When the instances of irritability and depression increase, the patients will often start complaining. The sufferers of depression might often find a way to excuse themselves from any social situations or find a way to stay aloof. This can often lead to decreased productivity as well as a constant trouble that will last between the colleagues as well as the dignitaries at a work place.
How Can You Manage Depression at Workplace?
Below Are 6 Tips To Manage Depression At Work:
- Never Define Your Future Depending On the Conditions in The Past: Know that depression is caused due to the issues in the past, so you have to work on it. Just because you are feeling low because a deadline has to be met, does not mean you are worthless. Give yourself a chance to start afresh and feel proud of your small achievements as well.
- Develop Strategies That Are Symptom Specific: Make a point to learn about the ailment and the associated symptoms as well. Take keen interest in understanding about the symptoms that have kept you low in the past and develop certain strategies for overcoming them. When you feel overwhelmed related to any new project that is being undertaken, break the project into smaller tasks. This may make it easier for you to manage and complete them in a shorter span of time.
- Never Try To Tackle All The Things By Yourself: Keep a tap on your daily work-home schedule and participate in activities that will help you in maintaining a communication with others. Involving colleagues for completing a task, asking the family members for help with daily chores or speaking about concerns and ideas for tackling the depression with your friends. This can be helpful in getting treatment and maintain an emotional balance. With all these things, it becomes easier for you to handle the hassles faced due to depression.
- Never Prioritize Work over Your Recovery: Work is only a single aspect of your life and it is important as well. Even on a busy schedule, remember that getting a cure is extremely important. Make sure to employ the self-care strategies and treatment plan without any compromises that will challenge your workday demands.
- Always Understand The Need Of Working: There are no jobs available in which there are less difficult assignments, challenging people and deadlines that include various stressors. When overwhelmed, be sure to focus on the positive aspects like security, financial independence, sense of community and personal satisfaction that can be a part of any team work.
- Never Try To Be A Perfectionist: You are bound to make mistakes, bump into obstacles at work and face disappointments like everyone else. Adjust to all such instances and know that such issues are inevitable when it comes to working in an organization.
Social Security Disability Benefits for Employees Who are Suffering from Clinical Depression
There are instances when a person suffering from clinical depression is often qualified for availing the benefits that are provided for Social Security Disability. If the symptoms are severe and actual, you may be liable for getting hold of the benefits. People who are suffering from depression may attend to it in a variety of ways. While some people will be sleep deprived, others might sleep for long hours just to get rid of the problems.
If you have applied for the benefits of Social Security Disability because of your clinical depression, it is necessary for you to go file a complete medical documentation from your medical health practitioner. It is also better for you to employ a lawyer that works with Social Security Disability. They can also help in tackling the issues and gain approval for your claim to avail the benefits offered.
It is true that depression will not affect a person’s ability to handle physical tasks directly. However, it might become difficult for you to handle an eight hour day shift for five to six days a week. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, SSA will try to determine if the symptoms are severe for you to avail a full time benefit.
The depression symptoms can often hinder a person’s performance that can be associated with a disinterest in most activities. There may also be an association with weight loss due to the change in appetite, hallucinations, lack of concentration and less energy as well. Suicidal thoughts may also hit a person’s brain, which can make it difficult for the person to handle work. The symptoms may become more grave when there is a lot of stress associated with the workplace.
It is advisable to hire a disability attorney having considerable experience in handling SSD cases related to depression by the side who can prepare and present the case to the judge at the time of hearing in the best possible way and prove the fact that how depression is affecting your ability work. Social Security Disability attorney is also quite familiar with rules of Social Security Administration and thus helps the claimant get disability benefits for depression. The disability attorney also has significant knowledge as to what the judge might require of the claimant during the hearing and what are the other relevant information that needs to be furnished in front of the judge at the time of hearing to win a disability claim for depression. An SSD attorney gets paid only after the claimant has been granted disability benefit thus the attorney does all he or she can to get the claimant disability benefits.
Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI