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When Your Coworker Seems Depressed

You can’t play doctor, but something’s not right with your coworker. He or she is coming in late, not "caring" as much about the work, putting things off, and not dressing as nicely as they once did. They appear a little absent-minded, unsure of themselves, "scattered" or unorganized, and a little bit isolated or withdrawn from the rest of the group. Sometimes they are snappy, too—not as pleasant to be around. Although you can’t diagnose, you can share your concerns. Listen and encourage him or her to get help. A whopping 23% of employees will suffer from depression and miss work because of it, according to one key study. Getting over depression is not an exercise in willpower. It’s a neurological disease process often requiring medical intervention to overcome. As a peer, you could have tremendous influence—likely more than a family member with whom the employee possibly engages in conflict. This means it doesn’t take much effort to influence a coworker’s decision to take action and get help. Simply sharing your observations (in private) and encouraging a coworker to get help could be enough to motivate him or her to do so. Depression left untreated can lead down a chronic path of worsening symptoms.  You may help your coworker avoid years of pain as the illness grows worse, and coming to work may be a lot more pleasant for you, too.

Source: www.employershealthco.com [search “depression”]

The Life-Work Connections Employee Assistance Program is brought to you by Well-U, helping eligible individuals to assess issues, and provide short-term counseling and referrals.

Keith Stein | 10/31/2019

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