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Could you perhaps have work-related depression?

Studies show that the average person spends 90 000 hours on the job over a lifetime. On this basis, it is expected that the mental health of employees will be affected in the workplace.

Studies show that the average person spends 90 000 hours on the job over a lifetime. On this basis, it is expected that the mental health of employees will be affected in the workplace.

Published May 21, 2023



In the face of depression in the workplace, employees must be at the forefront of understanding the psychology that underlies depression.

Studies show that the average person spends 90 000 hours on the job over a lifetime. On this basis, it is expected that the mental health of employees will be affected in the workplace.

In accordance with the World Health Organization, one in four employees receives a diagnosis of depression. Employees who experience negative feelings may find themselves in a downhill battle. These employees appear composed on the outside yet shattered from within.

Today, the cause of work-related depression stems from a stressful life event, excessive work, harassment, and dissatisfaction with a job role. But what does work-related depression mean? An employee experiencing feelings of frustration, sadness, physical symptoms with chronic pain, low concentration, motivation, and energy levels coupled with suicidal thoughts. The response to depression is to find inspiration by feeling positive about yourself.

Depressive thinking makes it challenging to carry out regular day-to-day tasks, not just work-related tasks. This depression affects intellectual functioning because concentration, memory and problem-solving abilities interfere negatively with productivity. Now, what can be done to cope with work-related depression?

Studies indicate that a trusted family or friend can suggest different approaches to coping with some symptoms. Use a journal to write down how you feel. Explore your thoughts as you reach the root of your depression, your problem. Try to arrive at a realistic solution by developing a logical approach to the problem.

Think about the duties and interactions that contribute to those negative feelings while being on the job. By regularly re-assessing your role in the workplace, you need to find strategies that are easier to manage with depression.

Assess your views about your job role through a series of questions, including: Are you communicating with yourself in a negative way? Are you avoiding communication/social interactions? Are you losing interest in your job role? Are you experiencing a decrease in productivity? Do you think a specific aspect of the workplace causes these negative feelings?

Do you have a medical condition that may affect your mental health? Do you have any anxiety about going to work? And, if you are waking up each morning dreading the day, then it is time to find something new because putting up with a career you do not enjoy does not serve you at all. We know that depression affects every aspect of your life. Are your personal relationships suffering? Also, if the company’s values are not in line with our own, this work will appear to be most frustrating.

With these feelings in mind, consider changing your view on your job and career. At some point, work-related aspects will leave you feeling helpless. Question what type of job suits your personality. Question if you are in the wrong career. Being in a wrong career choice certainly clouds the state of mind. Once you find yourself in the wrong career, you should give careful consideration to career options within the company or seek better opportunities elsewhere.

The percentage of employees at risk of depression has increased due to the level of stress or lack of support within a company. Utilise available social support programmes. Request a meeting with Human Resources to communicate your circumstances and propose a solution.

Medical and family support can help empower you. Self-management empowers employees to develop effective strategies. Improving your self-managing skills can help improve your energy levels, be more responsive to depression and increase job prospects.

Existing studies indicate that to motivate employees, very little is required to send a positive message. The simple gesture of praising employees for their good work performance can have a significant impact on employee morale.

The psychology behind this is clear; positive feedback allows employees to feel valued in their roles. Building respectful relationships with your employees requires an understanding of multiple levels of social and corporate etiquette.

Sometimes, all you need is ‘’time out’’ to be able to evaluate the obstacles with a fresh focus and a solid frame of mind, a growth mindset! Believe that your brain can grow and learn many new things with built-in confidence and strength. You are not born smart - you become smart. Work is just one part of who you are. No one can cause you to feel inferior without your permission. They say success in the workplace is not an accident, it is a choice.

Being challenged in life is unavoidable, but being defeated seems optional. Allow the beauty of life to shine brilliantly by making pain bearable in difficult times with a glimmer of hope. Waiting for good and bad times, winning and losing, are but two sides of the coin.

Anolene Thangavelu Pillay is a Psychology Advisor. Supplied

Anolene Thangavelu Pillay is a Psychology Advisor

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