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It can affect anyone, at any time, and a third of workers in the UK suffer from depression, stress or anxiety. In 2017/18, this meant 15.4 million working days lost.
As an employer, you have a duty of care to your staff. You need to look out for signs of depression at work, and know how to reach out to those affected. But it’s not as easy as that—not everyone suffers in the same way.
Depression is not simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days - a basic definition would be that it is “feeling down persistently for weeks or months”. At its mildest, it makes everything more challenging to do and seem less worthwhile.
In its most severe form, it can make a person feel suicidal, or give up the will to live. As well as mild, moderate and severe depression, there are specific types, including Seasonal Affective Disorder and Dysthymia (chronic depression).
Depression and anxiety can often be experienced together, and depression can also be a symptom of other mental health problems, such as bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder. People with severe depression can also experience some psychotic symptoms, for example, delusions and hallucinations.
Depression can affect anyone, regardless of their gender or age. The causes of depression vary - factors can include life events, child experiences, genetics, physical conditions, medication, stress and lack of sleep.
Depression in the workplace can be caused by pressures in work life which can also cause and or make this mental illness worse, for instance, the fear of redundancy, working long hours, dealing with difficult people or situations, and unreasonable targets.
The signs of work-related depression—or depression in general—vary from person to person. Sometimes, a person can just be suffering from a low mood. But if you spot a colleague who seems to suffer from any of the following 10 signs of depression, you should make sure to keep an eye on them:
Other symptoms include: Increased amount of sick or absent days, excessive forgetfulness, tiredness and excessive yawning, withdrawal from colleagues and work social events and more.
Not everyone displays signs of anxiety and depression the same way, so be careful not to jump to false conclusions.
Diagnoses of depression fall into three categories—mild, moderate and severe. These are an indicator of how badly it impacts your life, and affect the treatment you’ll be offered.
As we say, everyone suffers differently. But here are a few quick ways to offer support and guidance to someone with depression:
If you’d like to find out more information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please contact Health Assured on 0844 892 2493
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