If you feel depressed when working, you’re not alone. Sadness, anxiety, loss of motivation, difficulty concentrating, unexplained bouts of crying, and boredom are just a small sampling of the things you may be feeling if you’re experiencing depressive symptoms at work.
Depression impacts over 17 million American adults each year.
And data from the State of Mental Health in America 2021 survey shows that the number of people seeking help for depression increased significantly from 2019 to 2020.
There was a 62 percent increase in people who took the survey’s depression screen — and of those people, 8 in 10 tested positive for symptoms of moderate to severe depression.
When you consider that full-time employees spend an average of 8.5 hours per day working on weekdays and 5.5 hours working on weekends and holidays, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it comes as no surprise that many of them will experience symptoms of depression while on the job.
Read on to find out why work might be triggering depressive symptoms, how to identify the signs, where to get help, and what you can do to start feeling better.
While a job may not cause depression, the environment may worsen symptoms for people who already live with depression.
“Any workplace or job can be a potential cause or a contributing factor for depression depending on the level of stress and available support at the workplace,” saidMD, a psychiatrist at .
According to the(WHO), a negative working environment can lead to:
reports that depression ranks among the top three problems in the workplace for employee assistance professionals.
As with any other health condition, Parmar says, awareness and early detection are key.
“Depression is a complex condition with a varied manifestation of thoughts, feelings, and behavior that can affect anyone and everyone, and a variety of work and non-work-related factors might be at play when we consider someone struggling with workplace depression,” she explained.
The signs ofare similar to general depressive symptoms. That said, some may look more specific to a workplace setting.
This depression will affect your level of functioning in your job as well as at home, Parmar said.
Some of the more common signs of work depression include:
If you’re good at masking or internalizing them, these signs of work depression might not be visible to your co-workers. But there are some symptoms they may be more likely to notice.
According to Parmar, here are some common signs of work depression to be aware of: