Working from home depression is a very real side effect of remote work. However, there are ways to manage your symptoms with strategies like speaking to family and friends, contacting a healthcare provider, calling a mental health helpline, and starting an exercise routine.
Do you work from home and feel yourself getting depressed? Have you started experiencing depression ever since starting remote work? Read on to learn more about the depression that can be caused by working from home.
Depression: The Statistics
According to the World Health Organization, depression is a very common disease. It affects around 5% of adults and almost 6% of adults older than 60.
Nearly 280 million people worldwide have depression.
Depression can cause poor performance at school and work, as well as strain relationships.
Over 700,000 people die due to suicide each year, and suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in people the ages of 15-29.
Even though there are many treatments for depression, over ¾ of people in low to middle income countries get no treatment. In all countries, depression is often misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all.
Common Symptoms Of Depression
Here are some of the most common symptoms of depression.
- Having trouble getting out of bed
- Having self-deprecating thoughts
- Poor focus
- Poor executive function
- Becoming distant in friendships
- No longer finding joy in things you once loved
- Having trouble maintaining hygiene
- Thoughts of suicide
- Self harm
- Feeling sad or emotionless
How Working From Home Can Affect Depression
A 2021 study found many reasons that working from home may affect depression. Some of these reasons include longer hours, a higher workload, multitasking with children at home, increased eating, decreased physical activity, and increased interruptions and distractions.
The same study also concluded that women have a higher chance than men of developing depression while working from home because they have to juggle more responsibilities.
Socializing is a very important aspect of daily life and helps fight off, as well as treat, depression. When you work from home, especially if you live by yourself, you need to go out of your way to find ways to socialize because you have no immediate colleagues.
Steps For Managing Depression
Luckily, depression is a highly treatable disease. A lot of research has been done and while medication can be helpful, there are many other ways to help manage symptoms as well.
The two main goals when managing depression are to lean on your support networks and to increase the amount of serotonin in your brain.
Speak With Family; Friends
According to a study published by Sefa Bulut from the Counseling Psychology and Guidance Department of Ibn Haldun University, one of the main reasons people are depressed is “isolation, loneliness and lack of social support.”
This can be exacerbated while working from home. Hence, it is vital to talk to friends and family.
Opening up about your depression can help your family and friends understand you better and give you the support you need to manage your depression.
Contact a Healthcare Professional
Healthcare professionals are trained in treating depression and can help you understand your symptoms and how to manage them better.
There are many different types of therapy for depression including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Each of these therapies approaches depression in unique ways and your healthcare professional can tailor your treatment to your personal needs.
Your healthcare professional can also prescribe you medication that can help you manage your depression. Medication is not a cure-all but will give you a leg up in managing your symptoms.
Medication and therapy should be used in conjunction with one another.
Call a Mental Health Helpline
One of the most dangerous symptoms of depression is the risk of suicide. If you are thinking about suicide, you have to call a hotline or go to your nearest emergency room immediately.
But there are also helplines, which are like hotlines but can be used for more than just suicidal thoughts. Helplines are designed to give you a listening ear and help you work through your emotions.
People who work or volunteer for helplines are highly trained in crisis control and active listening. If there are things that you don’t want to talk to your family and friends about, helplines are a great option.
Start an Exercise Routine
People with depression experience a lack of serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that increases happiness and makes you feel good.
Luckily, exercise is a simple way to induce serotonin in your brain while simultaneously making your body healthier.
Most people find that exercising in the morning works best for them. A good option to get your toes wet is to go on morning walks. This will get you outside as well as get your body moving.
Once you are used to going on morning walks you can slowly add in more exercise. Yoga is thought to help depression because of its mindfulness and can be as gentle or intense as you want.
If you work from home and have started to experience depression or worsening depression, there are ways to manage it.
Speaking with friends and family, contacting a healthcare professional, calling a mental health helpline, and starting an exercise routine are all good places to start.
Although depression can be scary, treatments exist and there are ways to mitigate how working from home affects depression.