When Mental Health Gets in the Way of Work
If your mental health is in a downward spiral, it can make it harder for you to perform at work. But it’s not impossible to get help and get back to feeling like yourself again.
In fact, mental health issues are a common workplace issue that many companies are dealing with these days. Read on to find out what you should watch out for and how to help a friend or co-worker who may be struggling.
1. You’re unable to focus
If you’re a business owner or HR manager, you may have heard about mental health challenges affecting employees at an alarming rate. Some experts believe that mental health issues cost the global economy $1 trillion a year in lost productivity and absenteeism.
Fortunately, employers are taking the necessary steps to address these challenges head on. They might enlist the services of an employment specialist, arrange for mental health first aid training or provide work space modifications to accommodate those who need them most. The best way to combat the challenges posed by employee mental health is to encourage open and honest communication. To that end, the following tips can help keep you and your team on the right track. The most important is to identify the underlying cause of the problem and then to address it in a timely and effective manner. The other tip is to treat the patient as a person, not just a statistic.
2. You’re irritable
If you have an irritable temper, it’s important to take a break. Often, a short, quick walk around the building or a few minutes of listening to music will calm your system down and allow you to return to your work with fresh batteries.
But if you find yourself constantly irritated and it doesn’t go away, it might be time to talk to a mental health professional. Irritability can be a symptom of anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health conditions.
If you’re feeling irritable on a regular basis and it’s affecting your work, you might want to consider talking to a therapist. They can help you understand why you’re irritable and teach you some effective coping strategies to manage it. They also can provide you with a range of treatment options for your specific symptoms. For example, you might try a few different medications at different doses before finding one that works best for you.
3. You’re depressed
Depression is a mental health condition that can affect your ability to work. It’s a serious medical issue, and requires treatment.
It can also disrupt your sleep patterns, appetite and energy levels. If you have depression, it’s important to see a doctor and a therapist as soon as possible.
Symptoms of depression include loss of interest in life, a decrease in energy or irritability, disturbed sleep, feelings of low self-esteem or control and poor concentration.
If you’re depressed at work, you may need to speak with your supervisor or HR about a work accommodation. But it’s important to do so in a discreet manner, especially if you have a bad manager or toxic coworkers.
It can be difficult to admit you’re feeling down at work, so it’s important to talk to someone you trust. This person can help you vent your feelings and think things through. They can also recommend resources for you to seek further support.
4. You’re anxious
When you suffer from anxiety, it can make it hard to focus or get work done. Symptoms can include high stress, frequent anxiety attacks, fatigue, and physical symptoms such as heart rate fluctuations, sweating, and rapid breathing.
If you’re experiencing these feelings, it’s time to check in with a doctor. This will give you a diagnosis and help you find the right treatment to manage your anxiety.
Aside from medication, your doctor may recommend mental health treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and peer support groups. These help you learn ways to cope with your anxiety and live a more fulfilling life.
It’s also a good idea to tell your co-workers about your anxiety, especially if it is affecting your work performance. That way, you can get some extra support to handle your anxiety and keep your job.