Depression is not just a mood, and it is not a condition to be taken lightly. It involves physical, mental, and emotional instability, which can be caused by a number of things such as chemical imbalance, family histories, or even careers.

Stress from long working hours, unfriendly co-workers, and strict bosses may contribute to the downward spiral of an employee’s psychological state. This doesn’t only affect the person suffering from it; her work, and the rest of her team suffer from it as well. According to a study posted on MedicalNewsToday.com, one in every ten employees in Europe has taken time off work because they have been affected by depression and for each depressive episode, 36 working days were lost. Depression can also affect an employee’s ability to be productive, disrupt workflow due to absences taken by the distressed employee, lower morale within a team, and lose the company a good deal of money.

Although depression is a serious condition, those who have been suffering from it more often than not stay mum for fear of being ostracized and losing their jobs. There have also been very few employers who have addressed the issue by including counseling and other health benefits that aim to help affected employees.

Be aware of its symptoms which involve sadness, feelings of guilt, irregular sleep and appetite, as well as loss of concentration. If your co-worker opens up to you about what she has been going through, recommend her to the right help channels.

Depression is not something that can be swept under a rug. It is important to accept that it is here to stay in order to face it, address it, and overcome it.

(Photo by kizzzbeth via Flickr Creative Commons)

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