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The Challenges of Working With Depression

By Steph Walsh in Long-Term Disability on June 25, 2024

The Challenges of Working With Depression

Depression often feels like an overwhelming weight, making even the simplest tasks seem impossible. For those struggling with depression, the challenges of maintaining a job and navigating the workplace can be particularly daunting. You may find yourself grappling with a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, and a sense of hopelessness that threatens to derail your professional life. The stress and expectations of the workplace can exacerbate these feelings, creating a cycle that can be hard to break.

However, you are not alone in this struggle. There are resources and support systems available to help you cope with the unique challenges of working while living with depression. One such resource is disability benefits. If your depression is severely impacting your ability to work, you may be eligible for long-term disability benefits. These benefits can provide crucial financial support, allowing you to focus on your health and well-being without the added pressure of maintaining full-time employment.

Understanding your rights as an employee and the process of applying for disability benefits is essential. Unfortunately, navigating the application process can be complex and frustrating. Many individuals face denial of their claims, adding to their stress and anxiety. This is where legal support can be invaluable.

Don’t let the denial of benefits add to your struggles. Contact us today to discuss your case and take the first step towards securing the support you need. Call us no matter where you are in Ontario at 1-844-525-2633 or local in the Southern Ontario region at 905-333-8888. Alternatively, visit Injured.ca and send us a confidential message. Your health and well-being are our top priority, and we are committed to standing by your side every step of the way.

Understanding Depression: Signs and Symptoms

Depression can manifest differently for each individual, but there are several common signs and symptoms to watch for.

One of the most prevalent is a persistent feeling of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness that seems to drain the joy from daily life. You may find yourself losing interest in activities you once enjoyed, withdrawing from social interactions, and struggling to find pleasure in anything.

Fatigue and decreased energy levels are also hallmark symptoms of depression. You may feel exhausted and sluggish, even after a full night’s sleep. This makes it difficult to muster the motivation to complete tasks or engage with others. This fatigue can lead to decreased productivity at work and a sense of falling behind in your responsibilities.

Depression can also impact your cognitive function, causing difficulty concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions. You may find your thoughts moving more slowly or feel easily distracted, hindering your ability to complete jobs and manage your daily life.

Changes in sleep patterns are another common sign of depression. You may experience insomnia, waking up early, or oversleeping, all of which can leave you feeling unrefreshed and contribute to daytime fatigue.

Thoughts of self-harm or suicide are also common with depression and should not be ignored. If you’re thinking or feeling this way, it’s crucial you speak to someone you know and trust right away. You may also seek emergency medical attention or reach out to a hotline by calling or texting 988 in Canada or the United States.

To identify depression in yourself or others, pay attention to these symptoms and note if they persist for more than two weeks. If you find yourself struggling to cope with daily life, isolating yourself from others, or having thoughts of self-harm, it’s crucial to reach out for professional help. Remember, depression is a treatable condition, and seeking support is a sign of strength, not weakness.

The Impact of Depression on Work Performance

Depression has a significant impact on many areas of your life, including work. While depression operates in your mind, it can still have an effect on your body. From lack of sleep causing tiredness, lack of appetite causing digestive issues, and more, your physical state can be severely affected.

For many, the way depression disrupts their work life is a major concern – both for job security and income. There are a variety of ways depression can impact your work life specifically, all of which can put you at risk of compromising your job and career. From lack of concentration to no motivation, working with depression is challenging in many ways:

  • The lack of sleep and sometimes significant fatigue caused by depression can be a safety issue. Without proper rest, you’ll be less focused, and things like concentration and coordination will suffer. This can become dangerous when working with machinery, dangerous chemicals, working at heights, etc.
  • Lack of concentration can also lead to a lack of productivity, resulting in missed deadlines. This can be a problem for individuals as well as entire teams or departments.
  • The lack of energy, focus, and concentration can also result in more mistakes. Whether it’s entering incorrect information, giving a customer a wrong answer, or putting things where they don’t belong, mistakes add up. It can start creating problems for others and ultimately jeopardize your career.
  • Depression takes a major toll on your moods, often causing increased irritability and even skewed perceptions. This can cause miscommunication with others in the workplace, leading to tension, arguments, strained relationships, and other issues.
  • Emotional struggles, fatigue, and even physical symptoms can make it difficult to go to work. While everyone is entitled to sick days and time off, missing too much in a short period of time, especially with little or no notice, can strain your team and threaten your job security over time.

How Work Can Make Depression Worse

Unfortunately, it’s common for those with depression to continue trying to work and live their life with no help or support. This can be due to a lack of resources or not even realizing they may have a medical condition. Regardless, working with depression can make both the symptoms and the situation worse.

Especially in a stressful or toxic environment, work can make depression worse in several ways:

  • The pressure to perform, meet deadlines, and interact with colleagues can be overwhelming when you’re already struggling with depression, leading to increased stress and anxiety.
  • If you’re not able to take adequate time off to focus on your mental health, you may find yourself pushing through exhaustion and cognitive difficulties, which can lead to a vicious cycle of worsening symptoms and decreased productivity.
  • Lack of productivity and increased mistakes can contribute to feelings of guilt, inadequacy, and low self-worth, further fueling the depression.
  • Lack of understanding from supervisors or colleagues, unrealistic expectations, and a high-pressure atmosphere can all exacerbate symptoms and make it harder to prioritize your well-being.
  • Long hours and inadequate breaks can increase fatigue and stress, leaving little to no time to enjoy things and focus on yourself.

While no one is immune to depression or the struggles of working in a poor environment, those working in highly stressful or emotional careers may be at even greater risk of work worsening their depression. Healthcare workers, social workers, and mental health professionals are among the most depression-prone careers. Those in these fields should take special care to ensure work-life balance and set aside time for self-care.

Depression Vs. Burnout

A high-stress and unpleasant environment can also lead to something known as burnout. This is characterized as a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged and excessive stress, often related to work.

Some signs and symptoms of burnout can include:

  • Decreased motivation and enthusiasm for work
  • Cynicism, detachment, or a sense of futility regarding your job
  • Reduced productivity and efficiency
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Emotional exhaustion and a sense of being drained
  • Physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, or sleep disturbances

While burnout may share some symptoms with depression, there is one key difference that sets it apart. While it can be intense and debilitating, burnout is often only situational and will resolve as the stressful situation dies down, the work environment changes, or you take time off to rest and recharge. If you’re suffering from true depression, an improved environment or extended rest may help, but it won’t alleviate your symptoms altogether.

It’s important to note that burnout, while not a clinical diagnosis, can also contribute to the development of depression. If left unchecked, burnout can lead to a sense of detachment, cynicism, and decreased personal accomplishment, which can create a fertile ground for depression to take root.

If you recognize signs of burnout in yourself, such as feeling drained, disengaged, or resentful towards your work, you must address the underlying stressors and prioritize self-care before it escalates into a more serious mental health condition.

Can I Get Disability Benefits For Depression?

Depression is a serious mental health condition that can significantly impact a person’s ability to function in their daily life, including their ability to work. In cases where depression is severe and persistent, it may qualify as a disability, making the individual eligible for long-term disability benefits through their insurance company. A Hamilton Disability Lawyer can help navigate this process and ensure that the individual receives the benefits they deserve.

To be eligible for long-term disability benefits due to depression, the symptoms must be so severe that they prevent the person from performing the essential duties of their usual occupation. This means that your depression must be debilitating to the point where the individual cannot carry out the tasks required of them in their current job, despite reasonable accommodations. A Hamilton Disability Lawyer can help gather the necessary evidence to support this claim.

It’s important to note that the definition of disability may change after a certain period, typically two years. After this initial period, the individual must demonstrate that their depression prevents them from working in any occupation for which they are suited by way of education, training, or experience. This is a broader definition of disability and may require additional evidence to support the claim. A Hamilton Disability Lawyer can provide guidance on how to meet this new definition of disability.

To prove eligibility for long-term disability benefits due to depression, the individual must provide comprehensive medical evidence. This may include a formal diagnosis from a mental health professional, detailed records of symptoms and treatment, and a clear explanation of how depression impairs the person’s ability to work. The insurance company will review this evidence to determine whether the individual meets the definition of total disability. A Hamilton Disability Lawyer can assist in compiling this evidence and presenting it in a compelling manner.

Have You Been Denied Long-Term Disability Benefits for Depression? Call Our Hamilton Long-Term Disability Lawyers Today for a Free Consultation

Too many people are denied long-term disability benefits for mental health conditions like depression. These illnesses are real and can be devastating to both your physical and mental health. In many cases, working while you try to heal and recover is not an option. Treatment can also come with many expenses that will require financial assistance.

If your insurance company has denied your long-term disability claim for depression, please contact our Hamilton long-term disability lawyers right away for a free consultation. We’ll assess your case, review your rights, and suggest possible next steps. Our long-term disability lawyers have recovered millions in compensation for claimants across Canada who have been denied long-term disability benefits.

Please don’t hesitate to 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’ll set up a meeting to explain your long-term disability rights and legal options at no cost.

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