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Depression On The Job

Depression On The Job: How To Cope

You're depressed. Counseling has begun, and even though you've started taking medication, you find that you still aren't functioning as well at work. Anti-depressants take about a month to have their full effect, and you may have several additional weeks of adjustments to determine an effective medication and dosage. Counseling takes time as well. You may have a couple of months of coping until the depression lifts.

There are misconceptions about depression, so tell only people who need to know or whom you trust. Confide in your supervisor if you're comfortable doing so. If you need a reduced schedule, check with your employee health program or have your doctor write specific recommendations for work.

Break tasks into small chunks. Reward yourself when you complete one. Keep your calendar up-to-date, noting deadlines. Set checkpoints and mini-deadlines to complete work on time.

Take medication as prescribed. Stay in touch with your doctor or counselor. If your condition deteriorates, affecting your job, contact your doctor.

Your employee assistance program can help you find a therapist or support group. Attend therapy or the group regularly.

Here are some additional helpful tips if you have depression:

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat a healthful diet.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Have lunch with co-workers or friends every day, no matter how tempting it is to isolate yourself.
  • Spend time on grooming and even buy a new outfit that makes you feel more positive. Hang in there. You will feel better.

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