How can I cope with depression at work?

Sheila Dunnells
Addiction Medicine
The question implies that this depression for you is situational- only happens at work. If this is the case, you will need to assess what exactly is causing you to get depressed at your job. Is it a person, the type of job you are doing, or an inability to feel you can handle the job?

If there is a particular person or group of people who seem to get you down, talk to someone you trust (outside of work) about their behavior and try and determine what it is they do that triggers these feelings in you. Is it their treatment of you-- i.e., putting you down, ignoring you, treating you as if you didn't know anything, or are they avoiding you? Track it down. What exactly is going on for you? Is their treatment of you reminiscent of something your mother or father did to you?

Analyze the type of job you are doing. How close is it to what you hoped you would be doing as a profession? If it is what you thought you wanted, why is it disappointing you? Do you need to consider a different career? If so, what would be involved in moving in a new direction?

Or, do you fear that the job itself is more than you can handle? And, are you being realistic or are you just being hard on yourself? If you are given to perfectionism, no matter how well you perform your tasks, the little voice inside whispers, "not good enough."

As with any emotional upsetment, if you are unable to sort out what is going on, and it is lasting a long time, seek out a professional.
To cope with your depression at work, try the following:

• Know how much stress you can handle, and watch out for when
  you’re getting close to hitting that level.
• If you begin to feel overwhelmed, take some time to meditate, listen
  to music, or read.
• Keep in mind that a stable mood will allow you to do your best work.
• Don’t allow work to be your only focus in life. Find things that you love
  to do, such as hanging out with loved ones or volunteering.
• Remind yourself when you have a difficult day that you will feel better,
  even if it doesn’t feel like you will right now.
• Be sure to eat well, get enough sleep, and stay physically active
  every day.
• Focus your energy on one project at a time.
• Avoid taking on more work than you can handle.
• When an episode of depression occurs, get the support you need.
• Ask for help if you need it; you don’t have to do everything yourself.
• Be understanding of your limitations and the limitations of others. Try
  not to be too hard on yourself or your coworkers.
• Do your best to accept constructive criticism.
• If you decide to tell your supervisor about your depression, give him or
  her some educational materials about depression.

Continue Learning about Living With Depression

Living With Depression

Living With Depression

Living with depression can feel like a challenge, but with the right tools, you can learn to successfully manage your condition. It's important to follow the recommendations of your primary healthcare provider, take any depression ...

medication as prescribed and utilize the social supports around you. It's also important to eat well, get enough sleep, exercise and keep track of your depression symptoms.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.