Depression at Workplace

In his classic, “The Prophet,” Khalil Gibran writes: “Always you have been told that work is a curse… But I say to you that when you work you fulfill a part of earth’s furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born.”

Unfortunately Kahlil’s words don’t jibe with a new Australian study that found almost one in six cases of depression among working people caused by job stress, that nearly one in five (17 percent) working women suffering from depression attribute their condition to job stress and more than one in eight (13 percent) working men do the same. In the last decade, the number of American workers that say job stress is a major problem in their lives has doubled. In fact, the US Department of Health reported that 70 percent of physical and mental complaints at work are related to stress. Depression ranks among the top three work problems for employee assistance professionals, following only family crisis and stress. A study says in Canada10% of  workforce or 1.4 million people suffer from depression and only 6.5% of those or about 187,500 get appropriate treatment

Depression is one of the most costly health conditions for American employers. Nearly 63% of the $83 billion in total economic costs (including both direct costs of healthcare services and indirect financial costs) associated with depression annually are due to workplace losses. Depression is associated with more than $44 billion per year in lost productivity in the workplace from both absenteeism (workers with depression lose approximately 2.3 days of work per month) and “presenteeism” (workers with depression are often not able to accomplish as many tasks or perform at as high a level as workers without depression).

A huge pile of unfinished work is not the main reason why employees become depressed, concludes an extensive new Danish study. Surprisingly, the study indicates that a heavy workload has no effect on whether or not employees become depressed. Instead, it is the work environment and the feeling of being treated unfairly by the management that has the greatest effect on an employee’s mood.