Signs and Symptoms
Clinical depression is more than just feeling low during tough times. It is characterised by intense negative feelings and a lack of interest or pleasure in life. The severity and duration differs significantly between cases. It can be triggered by traumatic events or a person may be susceptable due to family history or personality traits.
Depression can be described as mild, moderate, severe melancholic or psychotic. People with melancholic depression experience physical symptoms such as fatigue and low energy. People with psychotic depression can lose touch with reality, experiencing hallucinations.
Symptoms of mild and moderate depression can include;
» Low mood, hopelessness and lack of interest in daily life
» Lack of motivation or ability to concentrate
» Self-isolation and inability to express emotions
» Low energy, fatigue & irritability
» Changes in eating habits
It is important to understand that depression is just as debilitating as any physical disability. Allowing sick days for treatment and considering how workplace conditions such as stressful deadlines can enhance your employee’s symptoms ensures you support mental health in your business.
For additional resources and support, visit Beyond Blue
Affect on Daily Life at Work
» They may have difficulty concentrating and managing multiple tasks
» They may be sensitive to feedback or have low confidence in their work
» Disrupted sleep patterns may lead to fatigue and hence heightened irritability
» Mood or motivation may affect their relationships
» They may take sick days during low mood periods
» Encourage communication so you understand their history, medication and any triggers
» Become familiar with the behaviours thatvindicate low moods and facilitate breaks
» Provide environments that facilitate coping strategies
» Identify and modify tasks that they may find stressful e.g. managing others or direct customer contact
» Set achievable, clear goals and monitor their progress to ensure they are not overwhelmed
» With permission, speak with their health professional about their mental health care plan
» Allow the individual to attend treatments such as counselling
Depression affects more than 1 million Australians each year.