How to Manage your Work while Suffering from Depression
Functioning in a competitive work environment is always difficult. Still, when you suffer from depression, you may feel like you are trying to work with one hand tied behind your back. Imagine a person diagnosed with depression and the difficulties they face every day. While an individual tries his or her best to cover their condition, each day, depression exponentially multiplies the difficulties of dealing with daily challenges, expectations, and workload. The vicious cycle of constant pressure to perform at your best and not being able to do so, in reality, intensifies with time, eventually leading to a disaster.
In a recent survey, employees who complained of struggling with depression while doing their jobs, less than 50 percent took time off to seriously address the situation. This avoidant behavior is only going to paralyze your ability to perform well among your colleagues. Ultimately, you will fall behind – you will feel lethargic; it will be hard to remember tasks and organize them. Group projects will be strenuous. In short, if you are a new employee, you risk your job, and if your job is stable, there's little to no room for professional growth.
Let’s look at some ways to strive and prosper as a professional in the workplace.
1. Communicate with your Employer
When you are diagnosed with depression, one of the essential things to do is inform your boss or human resource manager about your condition. Schedule a private meeting where you can convey your symptoms and condition to your boss or HR director. As you have this discussion, focus on showing your willingness to perform your job diligently, even while you’re experiencing symptoms.
For example, emphasize how you will be more equipped to complete a task better and more thoroughly when you take scheduled time off from work. Clear communication will help your boss understand the positive commitment to improving your performance, making this conversation effective and meaningful.
2. Take Note of Possible Job Triggers
You need to bring more mental awareness within yourself to understand the possible triggers that elevate your symptoms. For some, it could be a group project; for others, it could be something related to last-minute deadlines. The key is not to avoid these triggers but to find a way to manage them. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and replacement techniques are helpful in this regard.
Once you master your skill to maintain a healthy work-life as you cope with these triggers, managing depression will become much easier for you than before.
3. Organize your Schedule and Tasks
It’s essential that you move ahead of time and plan everything. This way, a minor inconvenience doesn't end up having a significant impact at the end of the day. For example, if you have depression with elevated anxiety levels in the morning, try to wake up earlier in the morning. Use this time to relax, meditate, and reflect upon your day. As you avoid the rush hour, you will note a significant decrease in your anxiety levels.
If you are likely to get sleepy in the afternoon, talk to your boss about your depression and utilize your break time to unwind and take a quick power nap instead of sitting with your colleagues for lunch. Shift your eating schedule to some other time when you find it convenient.
4. Cease for a Moment
The daily nine to five job can cause a general tension in your mind that multiplies if you have a mental condition such as depression. Try taking little mental breaks like meditating while sitting at your desk. You could also try writing in a journal or training your mind into thinking about anything that helps you relax, such as nature. When you allow your mind to relax during work hours, you protect yourself from abrupt mental breakdowns that impact your ability to perform your job well.
You don’t have to announce that you are taking a mental break; just do it. Compose yourself and get yourself mentally switched to a work-free, relaxed mode for a few minutes to unwind. You’ll find that taking these small breaks actually increases productivity.
5. Workplace Insurance and Service Planning
There are many workplace services, programs, and insurance plans that protect individuals from any discrimination happening at their workplace based on their mental health. Most companies provide these services at no additional cost to their employees. Reach out to your HR Department or speak with your boss to get more information. Many programs and assistance plans will also help you find confidential services for mental health.
6. Get yourself Treated
Depression is not a condition to ignore until it goes away; it doesn't work like that. Having licensed professional help is the best way to go. In some cases, a licensed professional like a psychiatrist could recommend medications as a treatment option. Other treatment recommendations could include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. At Salience, we specialize in using TMS treatment to treat help patients with recurrent depression reach remission.
TMS treatment safely uses MRI- strength magnetic pulses to increase communication and connectivity and improve neural activity within a brain network associated with depression. By restoring this network or enhancing communication between your neurotransmitters, people experience improvement with their depression and often symptoms associated with anxiety, PTSD, sleep, attention, and cognition.
These are some of the tactics you may find beneficial for controlling your depression symptoms in a typical workplace's competitive and stressful environment. There is no cure-all for depression, but a comprehensive treatment approach and an open, honest conversation about your symptoms can make managing your condition in the workplace possible.