5 Signs of Depression That Show Up in the Workplace

5 Signs of Depression That Show Up in the Workplace

Even though nearly 15 million women and men over age 18 have at least one major depressive episode in any given year, only 41% seek treatment for depression. That means that many adults in the workplace have untreated depression that may affect their performance as well as the company’s performance.

In fact, depression reduces your ability to complete physical tasks about 20% of the time. It also reduces cognitive performance by about 35%. 

At The Soho Center for Mental Health Counseling in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York City, our experienced counselors help individuals learn ways to manage depression both at home and at work. We also offer teletherapy sessions.

How can you tell if you’re depressed at work, or if a coworker, employee, or employer is depressed? Following are five common signs.

1. Workplace crying

Everyone goes through periods of grief, such as the loss of a loved one through death, divorce, or other types of separation. Grief may persist for long periods. As long as it doesn’t interfere with your daily life, it isn’t considered depression.

If you’re grieving, you may find yourself crying at the workplace, as you deal with and try to manage your loss. However, if you or a coworker chronically cries at work because of frustration or a bullying colleague, you may be depressed.

Poor management and toxic work environments can actually trigger depression in otherwise healthy workers. Unclear or unfair expectations, high pressure, or excessive workloads may all lead to depression.

2. Missed deadlines

If you or a coworker chronically misses deadlines, it may not be the result of mismanagement or laziness. Depression affects cognition, which makes it harder to complete tasks, especially demanding ones.

Everyone may miss a deadline or ask for an extension from time to time. However, if you can’t meet your deadlines, or a team member is chronically asking for extensions, depression may be the root reason.

3. Isolation

Many companies rely on teams of workers to complete complex tasks. Each team member must contribute to ensure success.

If one or more of your teammates has withdrawn or is no longer contributing to the work that needs to be done, they may be depressed. If you, also, find yourself isolating from coworkers or avoiding teamwork, you may be experiencing depression.

4. Chronic lateness

If you find it impossible to show up on time to work, you may not want to be there at all. If the atmosphere is toxic, or if you don’t feel that you can meet the expectations that are held of you, you may try to avoid the job altogether by postponing your arrival each day.

Another sign that you’re depressed at or by work is that you return late from lunch, too. You may also be clock-watching to get out the door again as soon as the workday or your shift ends.

5. Accidents 

Depression affects both mental and physical performance. If your job requires that you operate a vehicle or machinery, depression increases your risk for an accident. If you find that you’ve had more accidents lately or have caught yourself in a series of near misses, you may be struggling with depression.

If you or a coworker isn’t happy at work, depression may be the reason. Get the help you need to excel as an individual or as a company by contacting our helpful team by phone or by using our online form today.


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