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There is a saying that can often be heard in mental health and addiction recovery circles that goes, “You’re only as sick as your secrets.” When you keep mental health issues locked up inside, there is very little chance that the people who want to help you will know that you need help. This is also true of work depression.

Understanding Your Work Depression

Work depression is more common than many people think. According to Psychological Medicine, “Rates of depression have been rising, as have rates of work stress… Work stress appears to precipitate diagnosable depression and anxiety in previously healthy young workers.” Additionally, “Helping workers cope with work stress or reducing work stress levels could prevent the occurrence of clinically significant depression and anxiety.”

You may be thinking that your issues aren’t significant enough to qualify for work depression. However, it is important to remember that depression is relative to the individual. If you feel like you are hurting or feeling emotionally distressed, you owe it to yourself to further investigate whether you have work depression or not.

Recognizing Your Work Depression

Many people ignore their work depression because they feel like it diminishes their value as an employee. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Work dedication and work depression are not inexorably linked. However, work stress and work depression are.

To recognize the presence of work depression, you can consider taking an assessment of how you feel about yourself concerning your job. Doing this may help you understand the severity of your symptoms.

You may have work depression if you find yourself resonating with the following statements:

  • I wouldn’t say I like how I feel about myself when I’m at work
  • I’m unhappy when I think about going to work
  • I often bring work home with me and ignore other aspects of my life
  • I’m usually apprehensive about letting other people know how I feel at work
  • It is not uncommon for me to deal with work stress by engaging in substance use
  • I use substances, such as stimulants, to keep me motivated enough to get through work
  • I’m unsure about where I am going in my current job and with my overall career

Recognizing the presence of work depression is a great start. If you discover that you are struggling, use it as an opportunity to talk with others about your work depression. 

How to Talk to Others About Your Work Depression

You may be wondering how to tell your boss you’re struggling mentally. The answer is to just do it. It will be worth it to resolve any discomfort you may feel. Also, like many other people before you, you will probably discover that once you talk to your boss about mental health, your relationship will change for the better, and work will become more manageable.

Talking to others about your work depression will also allow them to get you the help you need. Many companies and workplaces have set protocols and resources in place to help you if you are struggling with issues of addiction and/or mental health. Still, understand that they won’t know to help you connect to those resources if you are not vocal about your issues.

Getting Help for Your Work Depression

You may push back against getting help from your company for your work depression. This is likely just the depression working against you. It is telling you that your depression is your fault and therefore you don’t deserve help. This type of thinking is only hurting you. 

It is important to remember that getting yourself the help you need helps your bosses and coworkers out in the long run because they are going to get a much happier, healthier, and more productive employee and coworker back. It is a win-win.

It is also important to remember that there is no “magic fix” for work depression. Yes, work depression can be effectively treated and managed, but that efficacy will dissipate if you slip back into your old ways of not telling people what you are going through. Be vocal about your mental health and how you are feeling; the entire workplace will benefit from it.

Maintaining Your Successful Journey With The Phoenix Recovery Center

It is important to remember that recovery is about the we, never about the me. The same is true in the workplace, which is why it is important to tell others how you are feeling, especially if you are struggling with work depression.

Here at The Phoenix Recovery Center, we believe that recovery, like life, is about the journey, not the destination. Don’t let work depression disrupt that journey; it’s too precious of a trip to miss.

Many people are apprehensive about discussing their stress and depression because they worry about the associated stigmas. This can be especially true when it comes to work because people also fear the finances and career-associated repercussions that could come with it. The reality is that not only are these repercussions rare but they are also illegal and go against one’s civil liberties. If you feel like you or a coworker may be struggling with issues of addiction, mental illness, or both, we can help get you on the positive path to recovery. For more information about the importance of opening up to coworkers about one’s struggles with work stress, depression, and addiction, contact The Phoenix Recovery Center at (801) 438-3185.

The Phoenix Recovery Center
489 W. South Jordan Pkwy
Suite 400
South Jordan, UT