How Depression Can Impact You

You may have heard that depression is the number one cause of disability impacting workers in the United States. This isn’t too surprising given that over 20% of adults will experience at least one depressive episode in their lifetimes. While depression can lead to predictable reductions in our capacity to function in a variety of settings, it can look dramatically different from person to person. 

Anger, erratic energy levels, and early morning waking are just a few of the symptoms of depression that may be mistaken for something else entirely. Depression is more than an Eyeore-esque approach to life; it can include intense feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or even a reduced ability to feel any emotions. Regardless of the presentation, depression comes with significant risks if folx with symptoms go untreated or unsupported. 

You may be experiencing depression if you:

  • Feel down, guilty, hopeless, irritable, or apathetic for more than two weeks at a time regardless of your life circumstances. 
  • Notice changes in your appetite (increases or decreases)
  • Feel like you have to overperform, overwork, or otherwise overcompensate at work, home, or in relationships when you aren’t feeling depressed.
  • Have thoughts of wanting to go to sleep and not wake up (passive suicidal ideation); have a specific plan to kill yourself without intent or with reasons why you wouldn’t go through with it (active suicidal ideation)

Getting Support

Addressing depression might involve letting trusted friends, family, or other supports know that you are struggling. We know that social support is one of the most protective factors against suicide in individuals who are experiencing depression. Support is a luxury many folx don’t have, however, so additional resources might include:

  • Talking to a primary care provider
  • Calling your insurance company to find out about mental health providers that take your insurance
  • Speaking with your workplace EAP (this is totally confidential)
  • Calling your county’s emergency crisis line (check out our crisis page for more information)

Unfortunately, not everyone we think would be supportive, will be supportive – even helping professionals. The following are indicators that you should seek help elsewhere.  

  • If you are told you just need to exercise, get outside more, be more social, etc. Any of these activities would likely result in improvements in mood and functioning, and recovering from depression isn’t about just doing anything. 
  • “This too shall pass.” Maybe, but the wait and see approach can also lead to symptom exacerbation, reduced functioning, and increased risk for self harm or suicide.

Learn More

Here are some great resources for continued learning:


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