Is Your Coworker Suffering from Depression?

If you work outside your home, you probably have colleagues with whom you share information, complete projects, and just chat. In fact, you probably begin to think of them like “family;” consequently, you’ll want to make sure that they are as healthy as possible, which means being aware of the warning symptoms of depression. And if you do find your co-worker is suffering, you’ll want to know the best depression treatment for him.

Though many people equate depression with just being slightly “miserable” or “self-obsessed,” it doesn’t always manifest itself in such an obvious way. In fact, there are plenty of subtle symptoms of depression that are easily misinterpreted by teammates.

In order to help someone and introduce him or her to anti depression treatments, you first have to know the unusual, but incredibly serious, symptoms of depression.
Poor Hygiene

“Doug” from marketing used to dress well each day and take good care of himself, but lately you’ve noticed that his clothes seem to always be wrinkled and stained. His hair is never tidy, either. You wonder what’s happening. The answer could be that he’s in need of depression treatment.

Many people who are depressed stop paying attention to their hygiene. They don’t shower regularly (creating obvious body odors), they don’t comb their hair or brush their teeth (again, obvious to coworkers over a short period of time), and they do not wash or prepare their clothing. This is due to the fact that depression creates a lowering of self-esteem, and the depressed individual can’t seem to make him- or herself care anymore about what others might think.
Frequent Illness

“Melissa” keeps getting colds. She’s your assistant and you used to be able to count on her, but lately she’s called in sick once practically every week. It’s becoming annoying and worrisome.

Melissa cold could be one of the symptoms of depression: a more serious illness. Depression lowers a patient’s immunity, making him or her more susceptible to colds and viruses. And depression can also “mimic” a cold, leading someone with undiagnosed depression to assume he or she has “the flu.”
Unusual Mood Swings

“Amy” is happy one minute, angry the next. Some days, she has the energy of twenty workers; others, she refuses to even answer the phone. This is totally unlike the way she was when you first met her, and you’re becoming annoyed.

Before you assume that Amy is doing this deliberately, consider that she may actually be experiencing the symptoms of depression. Many people in need of depression treatment actually become “manic”, swinging between extreme emotions on a daily (or even hourly) basis.

What Amy needs is an antidepressant or depression treatment that will help her onto an “even keel” emotionally. In fact, she might be unaware that she’s exhibiting symptoms of manic depression.
Providing Help

As a concerned coworker, you can help a teammate with suspected depression by taking him or her aside and have a caring, concerned conversation. Describe what you’ve witnessed and explain why it worries you. Then, allow your colleague to speak. Don’t judge, and don’t tell him or her to “get depression treatment or else.” Just listen.

If you’re not friends with a coworker who may be suffering the symptoms of depression, tell your human resources manager or the employee’s supervisor about your suspicions. That way, he or she can bring up the topic in an appropriate manner.