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Depression and it’s Effect on Employment

By Matt Lalande in Disability Conditions, Long-Term Disability, Uncategorized on September 19, 2022

Depression and it’s Effect on Employment

Major depression is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home. It interferes with daily life, normal functioning, and causes emotional pain for both the person with depression and those who care about him or her. Major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in Canada. It is estimated that 3% of men and 6% of women will experience major depression at some time in their lives.

Depression often begins in the teens or early adulthood but can happen at any age. Symptoms include feeling sad or down; having a loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed; experiencing changes in appetite or weight; sleeping too little or too much; losing energy or feeling tired; feeling worthless or guilty; having difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions; having thoughts of death or suicide. If you have five or more of these symptoms for two weeks or more, you may be suffering from major depression.

Most importantly, employment can be negatively affected by depression as well – leading a one to apply for long-term disability benefits. Major depression not only negatively impacts employees but also their employers through increased absences, reduced productivity while at work, and higher health insurance costs – thus leading to long-term disability. Our Hamilton long-term disability lawyer have represented countless individuals who suffer from serious depression. If you suffer from depression and have been denied long-term disability benefits please contact our Hamilton disability lawyers, no matter where you are in Ontario by calling us at 1-844-LALANDE today.

What Is Depression?

Major depressive disorder, also known as clinical depression, is a mental health condition that is characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities that someone once enjoyed. Major depression can negatively impact every aspect of a person’s life, from their personal relationships to their work or employment. According to data from Statistics Canada, one in every four adults in the country has suffered from some form of depression. Similarly, CAMH has reported that by the time Canadians reach 40 years of age, 1 in 2 have – or have had – a mental illness – the most reported being major depression.

The DSM-5, or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, is the standard reference book for psychiatric diagnoses – such as depression. First published in 1952, the DSM is now in its fifth edition, which was released in 2013. The DSM-5 contains detailed descriptions of mental disorders, as well as diagnostic criteria for each disorder. The manual is used by psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to diagnose mental disorders. It is also used by insurance companies to determine coverage for mental health treatment. According to the DSM-5, a person must experience at least five of the following symptoms for a period of two weeks or more in order to be diagnosed with major depression:

  • feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
  • loss of interest in usual activities
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
  • sleeping too much or too little
  • increased fatigue, nearly every day
  • feelings of worthlessness or guilty, nearly every day
  • trouble concentrating or making decisions, nearly every day and
  • recurrent thoughts of death or suicide without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.

The latest edition of the DSM-5 added two specifiers to further classify diagnoses:

  • With Mixed Features – This specifier allows for the presence of manic symptoms as part of the depression diagnosis in patients who do not meet the full criteria for a manic episode.
  • With Anxious Distress – The presence of anxiety in patients may affect prognosis, treatment options, and the patient’s response to them. Clinicians will need to assess whether or not the individual experiencing depression also presents with anxious distress.

Symptoms of Depression can be Debilitating

Major depression is a serious mental health condition that can cause significant symptoms. These symptoms can impact every area of someone’s life, making it difficult to work, sleep, eat, and function in daily life. Some of the most common symptoms of major depression include persistent sadness or emptiness, loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed, fatigue or decreased energy, sleep disturbances, changes in appetite, trouble concentrating, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, and thoughts of death or suicide. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms for more than two weeks, it is important to reach out to a mental health professional for help. With treatment, it is possible to feel better and live a fulfilling life.

If you experience some of the symptoms listed below for at least two weeks, you might be suffering from major depression and you should see a doctor:

  • Tearfulness or crying a lot
  • Feeling sad, empty, and hopeless
  • Frustration, irritability, or angry outbursts over seemingly petty matters
  • A loss of pleasure and interest in normal activities you previously enjoyed, such as sports, hobbies, or sex
  • Changes in your sleeping patterns, such as sleeping too much or insomnia
  • Changes in your appetite, causing weight loss or weight gain
  • Fatigue and a general lack of energy, making it difficult to do even the smallest tasks
  • Restlessness, agitation, and anxiety
  • Slowed body movement, speech, and thinking
  • An abnormal fixation on past failures accompanied by overwhelming feelings of guilt or self-blame
  • Trouble concentrating, remembering things, thinking, and making decisions
  • Recurrent suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, and death thoughts
  • Inexplicable chronic issues, including persistent headaches, back pain, digestive problems, etc.

The symptoms may vary from one individual to another, depending on the severity of their condition. For many, these symptoms are severe enough to cause visible disruption in their day-to-day activities. They may keep you from working, attending school, attending social gatherings, or having relationships with others. You may feel miserable all the time without necessarily knowing why.

 Types of Depression

Major Depressive Disorder – depression is a mental disorder that is characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities. Depression affects people of all ages, but it is most common in adults. There are different types of depression, but the most common type is major depressive disorder. Major depressive disorder is characterized by a number of symptoms, including a loss of interest in activities, fatigue, changes in appetite, sleep disturbances, and feelings of worthlessness or guilt. Major depressive disorder can have a significant impact on a person’s life, making it difficult to work, study, or interact with others. Treatment for depression typically includes medication and therapy.

Situational Depression – situational depression is a form of depression that occurs in response to a specific event or situation. While it can be triggered by positive events, such as the birth of a child or getting married, it is more commonly precipitated by negative life events, trauma, injury, abuse, the death of a loved one, divorce, or losing a job. Situational depression is different from major depression in that its symptoms are generally less severe and it typically resolves within a few months. However, if left untreated, situational depression can lead to major depression. Treatment for situational depression typically focuses on problem-solving and emotion-focused coping strategies. In some cases, antidepressant medication may also be recommended.

Persistent depressive disorder – if you experience a minimum of two of the MDD symptoms for two years or more, fluctuating between severe and moderate, then you’re likely suffering from PDD. Keep in mind that it is possible to have both MDD and PDD simultaneously in a condition known as double depression. People often perceive individuals with PDD as pessimistic, sullen, or cranky. Their condition ends up going undiagnosed rather than recognized as a mental disorder that requires treatment.

Bipolar Disorder Depression – bipolar depression is depression that alternates with manic episodes, is a type of mental illness. People who have bipolar depression experience extreme mood swings that can include depression, mania, and mixed states. These mood swings can be so severe that they interfere with everyday life. Bipolar depression is different from depression that only includes episodes of depression. While people with depression may experience low moods, they do not usually experience the high highs or low lows associated with bipolar depression. Treatment for bipolar depression typically includes medication and therapy.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – is a type of depression occurs at around the same time every year. It usually starts at the beginning of fall and lasts through winter. SAD is caused by reduced sun exposure and is associated with high-carb cravings, subsequent weight gain, and increased sleep. The symptoms usually resolve in the spring and summer.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) – is a severe and disabling form of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). While PMS affects many women during their childbearing years, PMDD is much less common, occurring in only 3-8% of women. PMDD is characterized by a range of physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms that occur in the week or two prior to menstruation and subside shortly after bleeding begins. PMDD can severely interfere with work, school, and social functioning, and can have a negative impact on important relationships. Some women with PMDD may have thoughts of suicide or self-harm. If you think you might have PMDD, it is important to talk to your doctor or other mental health professional. There is no single cause of PMDD, but it is believed to be related to changes in hormone levels during the menstrual cycle.

Perinatal depression – is a type of depression that can occur during pregnancy or in the first year after childbirth. Postpartum depression is a similar condition that can develop in the weeks and months after childbirth. Both types of depression can have a significant impact on the sufferer’s life, making it difficult to cope with everyday tasks and causing immense emotional distress. Treatment for perinatal and postpartum depression typically involves a combination of medication, counseling, and support groups. With treatment, most women are able to manage their symptoms and enjoy their lives once again.

Common Causes of Depression

Depression is a complex mental health disorder that can have a variety of causes. For some people, depression may be triggered by a traumatic event, such as the death of a loved one or losing a job. For others, depression may be brought on by chronic stress or anxiety. There are also many biological factors that can contribute to depression, such as an imbalance of chemicals in the brain or a family history of depression. Depression is a very individualized condition, and what causes it can vary from person to person. However, understanding the potential causes of depression can be helpful in finding effective treatments.

Traumatic injuries can have a lasting impact on a person’s mental health. It is not uncommon for people who have experienced a traumatic injury to suffer from depression. While the exact cause of this link is not fully understood, it is believed that traumatic injuries can lead to changes in brain chemistry that can trigger depression. Additionally, the physical and emotional pain of a traumatic injury can be overwhelming, making it difficult for a person to cope. In some cases, the stress of dealing with a traumatic injury can also lead to depression. If you are struggling to cope with a traumatic injury, it is important to seek professional help. A therapist can provide you with the support and resources you need to heal both physically and emotionally.

Major depression is a major problem for people who have suffered a traumatic brain injury, with up to one-third of all brain injury patients affected by the condition. Depression can have a profound effect on every aspect of a person’s life, and can even lead to suicide. While the exact causes of depression are not fully understood, it is thought to be caused by a combination of physical and psychological factors. For example, damage to certain areas of the brain may disrupt the normal function of neurotransmitters, while the stress of dealing with a brain injury can lead to changes in mood and outlook. treatment for depression typically includes medication, therapy, and support groups. however, due to the complex nature of the condition, it is often difficult to find an effective treatment plan. As a result, depression is a major challenge for both patients and caregivers alike.

Depression and it’s effect on Employment and Barrier to Work

Depression is a mental health condition that can have a profound effect on every aspect of a person’s life. This includes their occupation and their career. The symptoms of depression can make it difficult to focus on work, to interact with co-workers, and to meet deadlines. As a result, depression can lead to job loss or difficulty finding employment. In addition, depression can also make it difficult to progress in one’s career – and in fact, studies have shown that depressed employees exhibit more job loss, premature retirement, on-the-job functional limitations, and absences compared with their non-depressed coworkers.

Can I Qualify for Long-Term Disability Benefits if I suffer from Depression?

If you are suffering from depression and are unable to work, then yes, you may be eligible for long-term disability benefits. In order to qualify for long-term disability benefits, you must be unable to perform the substantial duties of your own occupation for the first 24 months after the onset or the start of your disability. After 24 months, there is a change of definition that takes effect in most long-term disability policies – in which the definition changes from your “own occupation” to “any occupation”. This means that in order to qualify for long-term disability benefits, you must prove, on a balance of probabilities, that you are unable to be employed within the context of any occupation for which you are reasonably suited by way of your education training and experience.

You, the claimant, that has the burden of proving that you are not employable – either in terms of your own occupation or any occupation. Normally the burden of proof requires the assistance of an experience disability lawyer who knows how to advance a proper medical legal case in order to prove your disability – and further prove why your disability prevents you from working either at your own occupation or for one in which you are reasonably suited by way of education training and experience.

The best way to think about qualifying for long-term disability benefits is in terms of funtion. How does your illness, injuries or chronic conditions impair your ability to work. The assessment of functional related abilities is very important in a disability case. The issue however is that there is no single test of function that is likely to provide everything required to evaluate the claimant’s ability to work. Therefore, we sometimes require the assistance of vocational therapists to review multiple sources of information, such as medical records, medical opinions, imaging, medication records, collateral interviews with spouses or children ect. This, in combination with functional assessments, could allow a qualified vocational assessor to provide an opinion on your ability to function at work

Your disability lawyer will normally attempt to prove your disability through your own subjective evidence, as well as objective evidence obtained from your medical records, information from your medical providers, your medical specialists, expert opinions, the use of a vocational expert in order to explore your work history, provide opinion on your ability to work, provide opinion on your earning capacity, if any in the overall labour market conditions.

How do I Hire a Hamilton Disability Lawyer Near Me?

Disability law is a legal specialty which is different from personal injury law or other areas of law. If your disability claim has been denied or your disability benefits have been terminated, you should speak to an experienced long-term disability lawyer in order to understand your options and obtain a proper legal opinion in regard to your individual circumstances. When you consider hiring an experience disability lawyer, we recommend to canvass the following issues:

  • how many disability cases has that particular disability lawyer handled in his or her career?
  • how many disability cases that disability lawyer has resolved?
  • how many disability cases has that disability lawyer litigated?
  • what is the success rate for that particular disability lawyer?
  • how long will my disability claim take to resolve or litigate?
  • how long have they been in practice?
  • how long have they practice disability law is a specialty?
  • how many depositions or discoveries has that particular disability lawyer done of the claims examiner?
  • has dealt with your disability insurance carrier before?
  • does the disability lawyer have any reviews that are positive in terms of disability law?
  • is the disability law firm responsive, and will they call you back?
  • will your disability attorney simply pass on a case to a junior lawyer or paralegal or, will that disability lawyer to handle your case personally?
  • are you able to come in and speak with your disability lawyer when you feel like it?
  • how easy is it to communicate with your disability lawyer?
  • is the disability law firm’s results favorable and successful?
  • does the disability law firm offer free consultations?
  • does the disability law firm worked on a no win no fee contingency fee basis?

Lastly and most importantly, is that disability lawyer understanding and sympathetic to your situation. It’s important that you retain a disability lawyer with whom you feel you will have a good relationship with. It’s important you retain a disability lawyer that you can speak with openly, honestly and who will be receptive to your concerns.

If you suffer from depression and have been denied your benefits, our Hamilton Disability Lawyers can help.

If you suffer from depression and you have been denied your long-term disability benefits, call Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers today. Since 2003 our law firm has represented hundreds of disability claimants not only in Hamilton but throughout all of Ontario. We have litigated against every major disability carrier in the country and have a very high success rate of case resolution. It’s important to remember that you are not alone – and the termination of your long-term disability benefits is not the end of the road.

We would be happy to help you get the benefits you need and deserve. Call us no matter where you are in Ontario at 1-844-LALANDE or local in the Southern Ontario region at 905-333-8888. Alternatively, you can send us a confidential email through our website – and we would be happy to explain your long-term disability rights and legal options to you, at no cost.

 FAQ Summary

Can I get disability benefits for depression?

Yes, if you can prove that you are unable to do the substantial duties of your own job.

My adjuster is causing me stress. She does not call me back, listen or care what I have to say. What do I do?

Unfortunately this is a common occurrence. Often times the relationship between the claimant and adjuster sours, causing an exacerbation of the claimant’s mental health. If this happens, you need the help of a disability lawyer. The relationship will probably not improve.

What should I do if I can’t work because of my depression?

It’s important that you speak to your family doctor – and get the treatment you need. Many people with major depression feel that treatment is often hopeless – but if you want to prove your disability, follow your doctor’s advice and stay in all treatment programs that are recommended to you.

I am afraid of my insurance company putting surveillance on me, is it true they do this?

At times, if claimants give their adjuster reason to do so, then yes there is a possibility that the disability insurance company will put surveillance on a claimant. However in most cases they will not. Surveillance mostly occurs deep into litigation, prior to depositions, mediations and trials. The purpose of surveillance is to discredit the plaintiff’s evidence.

How can depression interfere with a person’s ability to work?

Studies have shown that depressed employees exhibit more job loss, premature retirement, on-the-job functional limitations, and absences compared with their nondepressed coworkers.

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