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Understanding workplace depression

When we think of illnesses related to the workplace, we tend to think of illnesses related to exposures to chemicals or minerals, such as asbestos and coal. However, there are other types of workplace illnesses that some individuals in Ohio and elsewhere do not automatically associate with the workplace. For example, depression and anxiety can be serious mental health problems, and the work environment could cause them.

Everyone has a bad day from time to time; however, when there are more bad days than good or they are consistently bad, this can be a concerning situation. Workplace depression can be serious, and it is a growing area of concern. When an employee is depressed, his or her productivity and happiness is impacted. In addition to this, a depressed employee has the ability to impact those around them. Their depression can change the mood of the entire workplace, impacting their productivity as well. Finally, a depressed worker may find it difficult or even impossible to go to work.

The structure of the workplace and the workday can impact stress and the development of depression. That being said, a happy and well-structured work environment will reduce the chances of an employee developing depressions; however, this is not entirely realistic because happiness can be subjective. Nevertheless, there are some things that help reduce workplace depression. This includes good working conditions, jobs that offer an opportunity to use and develop skills, jobs that offer variety and input on work, supportive bosses and clear performance expectations and support to meet these expectations.

Depression can look different from worker to worker, but there are some clear signs and symptoms. This includes fatigue, unhappiness, excessive forgetfulness, irritability, propensity for crying spells, indecisiveness, lack of enthusiasm and withdrawal. Getting help for depression is important, as this can help the worker address this illness and prevent it from impacting other areas in his or her life.

The inability to work because of a mental health problem can be problematic and difficult. If a mental health problem is related to the work environment, it might be possible to seek assistance. Workers' compensation benefits could help address losses, such as medical bills and lost wages.

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