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The Mayo Clinic defines depression as “a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.” With more than 8 percent of adults experiencing depression you need to know what you are dealing with. More than just incidental sadness or the blues, depression is a disorder that affects your entire life. It impacts how you think, how you act, how you interact with others. How does depression impact a team in the workplace?

What depression does to the person

Depression has a holistic toll on the person experiencing it. It affects one physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally. It causes lethargy and a feeling of always not feeling well. Mentally, depression creates circumstances that can mirror paranoia, caused by a feeling that everyone is disappointed or against them. Socially, the person becomes isolated, overwhelmed by a building, spiraling loneliness, compounding itself by itself. Emotionally, depression pulls the joy of life out of the purpose, creating a sense of continuous dread and sorrow. Depression at its worst is a downward tornado culminating in a bottom of the barrel choice of life or death.

What depression does to coworkers

A black cloud entering the room, I feel like I am walking on eggshells, I don’t want to talk to them. These are some of the statements you can hear around the clinically depressed in the workplace. In a small office, a depressed person will have a profound impact on the mood and production. Their reliability, how they respond to questions, how they treat customers will impact every other person they work with. Coworkers will have to carry their workload, they will have to do damage control with offended customers, and they will have to deal with the extra work of keeping up the moral. They will realize that the days they are gone, it is like the sun is shining in the office. The office can become a hostile work environment full of anger and resentment.


The Mayo Clinic lists these major causes:

  • Biological differences – The brain has undergone some physical change related to some causal agent, injury, or unknown change.
  • Brain chemistry – The neurotransmitters (naturally occurring brain chemicals) involved in maintaining normal brain function are not behaving normally in how they interact with the brain’s neurocircuitry.
  • Hormones – Changes in the body’s normal hormonal balance are impacting mood. Pregnancy, thyroid, menopause are conditions that are examples.
  • Inherited traits – There is evidence supporting the genetic nature of depression.

Risk factors

Depression can begin at any age, and though more prevalent in women, in either sex. According to the Mayo Clinic, other factors influencing depressive behavior and increasing the risk are:

  • Pessimism, dependency, low self-esteem, and other personality traits
  • Trauma, loss, high stress, and relational or financial problems
  • Childhood trauma
  • Family history
  • LGBT in an unsupportive situation
  • Mental health disorders other than depression
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Chronic illness
  • Prescription medications


Counseling and medication are the primary methods of clinical treatment for diagnosed depression. Quite often if there is a causing agent, such as alcoholism, treatment for that will be the first part of treating the whole of the disease. Attending a drug and alcohol treatment center will include treatment of the ensuing depression. Other counseling can begin as inpatient or outpatient psychotherapy, regular counseling appointments focused on finding the cause and working toward recovery. It can be difficult to find a therapist that suits what you want from the sessions as each counsellor has different ways of working with patients. You might have to try a couple of different ones to find a therapist that can help you. For example, this new york psychotherapist also has options for online counselling which might suit your work schedule better than having to have time off to go to their office every week.

There are also many antidepressant medications you may be prescribed, each focused on a different or variety of neurochemicals. Prescription Drug Prices can vary from state to state so it might be worth discussing with your doctors which would be the most suitable for you as well as checking online to compare costs. Each has its own benefits and side effects. Each has its own reaction to other medications. Each prescription has a protocol for starting and stopping.

Another alternative treatment might include the use of cannabis products (like CBD oil). These products are known for having relatively less side effects and therefore could be a good medication for depression. Dabbing is one way of using CBD oil. If you’re searching for some sick dab tools, you may want to look at portals, like Fat Buddha Glass that have a wide range of CBD related accessories.

What you can do?

If you are dealing with depression in your workplace, what can you do?

  • Be understanding
  • Offer help
  • Educate your other employees
  • Encourage self-care
  • Make use of national depression screening day
  • Use full spectrum lighting
  • Make your business a great place to work

By doing your part as best possible, you will value everyone involved, help someone who is hurting, and help create a positive work environment.

Andy McGowan
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