Depression causes widespread work absences, studies find

Common depression symptoms often go hand-in-hand with workplace inefficiency, including concentration difficulties, forgetfulness and indecisiveness. A new study from the European Depression Association claims that such symptoms are present 94 percent of the time during a depressive episode.

Work absences
According to the study, depression has caused one in 10 Europeans to miss work, with an average of 36 workdays lost per depressive episode. Pointing to a potentially serious need for back-up, one in three managers told the EDA that they additionally have no formal training in providing mental health resources in the workplace, with 43 percent stating that more legislation is needed in order to support employees wrestling with depression.

A recent Forbes report included a range of advice on how to deal with the condition at the workplace. Some are straightforward, like seeking help when needed. Others are less intuitive, like speaking up about the problem to co-workers and setting clear goals using lists or other means.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, a depressive episode can include feelings of despair or hopelessness, restlessness or fatigue, anxiety, lack of interest in pleasurable activities, inability to focus, aches and pains, appetite changes and sometimes suicidal thoughts.

Factors relating to low performance
Twenty percent of respondents in the EDA study claimed that at the time of the survey, they had already received a diagnosis of depression at some point. The study found that half of monetary costs relating to depression resulted from presenteeism (working while ill) and absenteeism (taking time off). When asked if they told their bosses about their depression, one in four admitted that they didn't. One in every three of these individuals stated that they didn't tell their employers because they were afraid it would put their job at risk.

Depression is commonly treated with a combination of therapy and medications. Those seeking treatments for their depression may want to buy Paxil or other antidepressants, which are often found at reduced prices through Canadian online pharmacies.

The 2012 Hordaland Health Study found results similar to those compiled during the EDA research. The HHS, which is to be published fully in 2013, found that comorbid anxiety and depression were significant risk factors for sickness absence, with work-absent episodes lasting longer than 16 days for some over a six year period.