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How to find support if you’re depressed

Published by: LifeWorks,

How to get help with depression

Depression is a common mental disorder that can happen to anyone, and it can be difficult to know what to do about it. However, there are many ways that you can find support if you suspect you may be depressed.

Depression is the most common mental health condition and is the second leading cause of years lived with a disability worldwide, according to a 2013 Mental Health Foundation study.

There are two common types of depression. Major depression, which can affect your ability to work, eat, sleep and enjoy life, may occur in episodes. Persistent depression disorder, which is has long-term, chronic symptoms, can last for two years or more. Typically, the symptoms of this second condition are not debilitating but keep a person from functioning fully.

Some of the signs of depression are:

  • a drop in productivity
  • lack of energy, sluggishness or appearing to tire easily
  • restlessness, irritability or moodiness
  • outbursts of anger or crying episodes

An important first step to being treated for depression starts with a visit to your doctor. They will look for any medical causes of the condition and, if they find none, they will order a psychological evaluation. They may also refer you to a mental health professional to further discuss your symptoms and build a treatment plan for you based on your diagnosis.

There are several different approaches to treating depression:

  • Medication — A doctor may prescribe antidepressants or other medications to help treat your symptoms.
  • Psychotherapy or “talk therapy” — This treatment can help a person solve life issues, reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, improve relationships and social skills, and even improve job performance. Research shows that psychotherapy is effective in treating most common mental health problems.

Some people do best with medication and some with psychotherapy. Other people need a combination of both.

If you believe your depression is affecting your performance at work, consider requesting a confidential meeting with your HR representative or your manager to discuss further resources that may be available to you. You may also contact your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for further assistance.

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