Depression and Work

Clinical depression is now recognized as one of America’s most pervasive illnesses. Depression and work or lost productivity is as costly as heart disease or AIDS, racking up $26 billion in costs. For employers it’s even more costly, to the tune of $51 billion due to absenteeism and lost productivity related to depression and work.

People suffering from depression are usually in their prime, the age at which they should be most productive. If left untreated people can suffer from depression and work impairment for the rest of their lives. However over 80% of the cases of clinical depression can be treated successfully, meaning that the impact of depression and work can be substantially reduced. The key is to recognize depression early and to seek treatment and support. When this happens the effect of depression and work for most workers can improve and they will resume work and life normally.

The Facts about Depression and Work

  • For employee assistance professionals, clinical depression and work related issues are among the most frequent problems they see, just behind employees going through a family crisis and those suffering from stress.
  • For employees qualifying for short-term disability, 3% are suffering from depression and work is significantly impaired.
  • 76% of those who are on disability from depression and work are women.
  • There was a study done of First Chicago Corporations and the results showed that over half of all insurance claims for employees with mental-health problems were paid out due to employees suffering from depressive disorders. The amount of money spent treating depressed employees almost equaled the amount spent on treating employees with heart disease.
  • In 1995, nearly 20 years ago, depression and work was found to cost to a company $600 per year, of which 72% was due to absenteeism and lost productivity.
  • People suffering from severe depression have a 15% likelihood of taking their life.

How Employees Regard Depression and Work

  • More often than not an employee who is depressed won’t seek help because they’re fearful others will find out and it will have a detrimental effect on their job. They do not want others to know that their depression and work performance are related.
  • Many people have no idea they’re depressed and even if they knew, many assume their insurance wouldn’t cover all the costs of treatment. Employees whose depression and work are impaired need to be educated about the help available to them.

When employers were surveyed by NMHA, 64% said they would refer their employee for help if they recognized the symptoms of depression. The referral would be to an EAP health worker who are experts at treating depression and work related problems.

Know the Symptoms of Clinical Depression and Work Performance

Different people suffer in different ways when they’re clinically depressed. There are various different symptoms and the duration of them varies as well. Depression and work performance have been shown to be related and often the symptoms of depression interferes with work performance.

You need to see a health-care professional if you have five or more of these symptoms and they  last for two weeks or more at a time:

  • Feeling sadness, anxiety or just “empty” inside.
  • Not able to get enough sleep, waking up way too early or sleeping way too much.
  • Hardly any appetite and losing weight, or eating way too much and gaining weight.
  • No interest in activities you used to enjoy, and that includes sex, work, socializing, etc..
  • Irritable and a constant feeling of restlessness.
  • Headaches, stomach aches or problems digesting food that don’t get better with treatment.
  • Problems with mental focus, concentration, memory or in being decisive at work.
  • Feeling listless and tired out all the time, with no vitality or energy for work.
  • Overwhelmed with guilt, feeling worthless and life is hopeless or work tasks are hopeless.
  • Contemplating taking your life or thoughts of death.

Because our treatment for depression relies on evidence based practices, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful treatment methods.  The foundation of our treatment program for relies on the principles of the stages of change, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused treatment, skills training and identifying repetitive dysfunctional behavioral relationship patterns to promote recovery from depression and other mental health disorders.  In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of depression and work impairment in six peer reviewed treatment outcome studies.   Our treatment center provides services to those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting.  If you or a loved one is showing signs of depression and work interference, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan for depression that can result in recovery.  Treatment for depression and work performance can be highly successful.  Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.