Women in the Workforce Are Affected By Depression

Depression that affects women in the work force is a major issue that cannot be ignored. A recent study of the workforce concluded that $44 billion a year in productivity is lost due to depression. If this is the case, then the medical costs to treat depression must be staggering. The lost productivity costs were from absenteeism and from those who are going to work depressed and getting little done. The recent study also found that working women seem especially vulnerable to depression while on the job.

Depression on the job can lead to missed meetings, unreturned phone calls, blankly staring at the computer screen, indecision, late arrival, leaving early and missed deadlines. In addition, a working woman suffering from depression while at work might not get along very well with colleges anymore or she may withdraw from social involvement. These are all signs and symptoms of depression.

21 percent of the women in the workplace are affected by depression that carries through to their work performance and their everyday lives. For working women, depression is a very human illness that makes them vulnerable to poor performance at work. It is important to understand the symptoms and signs of depression that may affect working women before the problem can be dealt with.

For many women in the workplace, depression may be kicked off by attempting to satisfy a home life with family and be a superior working person as well. The pressure of trying to satisfy both can lead to sleep deprivation, anxiety or a sense of helplessness, all leading into depression. Once the spiral starts it is hard to stop. When the brain chemicals become unbalanced it will take some effort to get them balanced. The depression that hits you may completely change your personality. Your colleagues will notice it but you may not at first. The working women may find herself becoming a wild women, spending money like crazy, hyper, drinking more, or having affairs, all in some sub-conscience effort to feel better about something unidentifiable. It is not unusual to find depressed working women practically living out of their cars or a small hotel room. Many women will think constant change will somehow stop the depression feelings.

Divorce is concern for women in a depression since it becomes increasing difficult for friends or family to enjoy their company. The depressed woman may find herself alone on her birthday or other special occasion, as her friends and family slowly abandon her. Of course this leads to even more depression and a sense of helplessness or low self-esteem. Depression will make you feel unloved and unable to love. Women suffering from depression at work may find themselves short tempered and yelling more often, much of the time not realizing they have become that way. 30% of working women suffering from depression either quit or lose a job as a result of symptoms.

For a working woman, when depression goes too far she may find herself unable to function. Simple note taking may be difficult, or even speaking. She may become very zombie-like in her behavior. Few women want to admit they have a mental problem, so they will keep struggling along risking their careers and family relationships. Just 47% of women diagnosed with depression seek help right away. Most think they can deal with the symptoms on their own. Most do not know where to go for help or are embarrassed. 40% of working women with depressive symptoms remain undiagnosed.

For women, depression in the workplace is the number one barrier to success. It is an impediment greater than pregnancy, sexism, child care issues and sexual harassment. A depressed woman at work will find herself feeling constantly unsatisfied and under stress created by her own thoughts. Depression is an illness and should be treated as such. No matter how successful the working woman is in work and life, the depression will cause her to feel sad and unfulfilled.

It is necessary for working women and their employers to recognize that depression is a major illness affecting the abilities of many working women, but there is relief available. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of depression in working women is the first step to recovery.

Mark D. Jordan is a long-time researcher and writer from Pennsylvania. Other useful depression and health information can be read at Depression Relief and Cures and Anxiety Problems