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The impact of depression on working life

Statistisch gesehen gibt es in fast jedem Unternehmen depressiv erkrankte Mitarbeitende. Welche Verantwortung haben Arbeitgeber oder auch Kollegen, wenn es um den Umgang mit Erkrankten geht? Beginnt ein Mitarbeiter damit unglücklich und unmotiviert zu wirken, steht dem Arbeitgeber ein großes Fragezeichen auf die Stirn geschrieben. Ist es eine Flaute, ein privater Grund, ein Burnout? Gerade zu Zeiten von Corona steigen die Fälle der Depressionen in Deutschland – und weltweit – enorm an, und immer öfter finden sie ihren Weg auf die Krankschreibung, gleich hinter Atemwegserkrankungen. Wie man die Gesundheit der Mitarbeiter – und damit ihre Arbeitsmoral – steigern kann, erfährst du hier.

The cause of depression

Some people at work might believe that depression is a reaction to a difficult work environment - and that's understandable. But depression is a much more complicated illness. And most people who are depressed at work aren't like that because of work. They're often depressed even before they get to work. And if they're unlucky enough to have a predisposition to depressive moods, they're going to keep lapsing into the state of depression, even when they actually seem to be doing relatively well. It is not easy to understand this, because if someone were to slip into depression now, the depression will pick out something negative from their life - and it always finds something, in every one of us.

 

And when people are at work, and their workload is often stressful - this problem is then magnified and moved to the center. Then they think that's the cause, whereas the cause often lies completely elsewhere. "During depression, those affected perceive everything as if through dark glasses and feel completely exhausted and overwhelmed by work. Often, the excessive demands are then mistakenly seen as the cause and not the consequence of the depression," said expert Hegerl from the German Depression Aid Foundation.

The impact of depression

If the employees are tormented by depression, insomnia and anxiety, it makes their work much more difficult. They may work slower, distance themself, or not be fully focused - appear distracted. And at this point, they are. In a major depressive episode, employees feel too exhausted to take care of themselves or do their work effectively. With our help, employers can make work a satisfying and meaningful part of their life again.

This would also be in the interest of the company. It's not very productive if the employee sits lethargically in front of the computer, is clearly withdrawn, avoids the cafeteria and conversation, and perhaps also misses work more often.

If there were more awareness in the professional environment on the subject of depression, those affected could be helped much faster, for example through our emotional training. "In addition to great suffering, this could also avoid costs," said Ulrich Hegerl of the German Depression Aid Foundation.

Burnout and depression - what is the difference?

"Burnout" is a term that everyone has heard before. Compared to depression, burnout is not a diagnosis - but rather a term that describes certain exhaustion of physical or emotional strength in professional life. This is usually caused by overwork, stress, and dissatisfaction, and unfortunately also repeatedly associated with depression. In fact, it is often harmful to mix these two terms. While a break, vacation, and resting can achieve positive results in the case of burnout, it's not always the case with depression.

Depression is not necessarily caused by overwork, but by a traumatic event, grief, misfortune, genetic predispositions, and much more. Resting and doing nothing can, but doesn't have to, intensify the intrusive thoughts. On a vacation, depression is known to travel with you, and especially in an unfamiliar environment, the listlessness and sadness can be perceived as particularly crushing and painful.

Covid-19 and work-life balance

The Corona pandemic has changed all our working lives. Many employees work in a home office. The self-employed and small businesses, in particular, are facing new challenges. The usual working models and working hours have been put to the test in the presence of a health crisis. There has been a very significant increase in the number of unpaid overtime hours from an average of 7.3 to 9.2 hours per week. People have had to rethink how their personal relationships, their physical and mental well-being, and the way they work affect each other.

As a result, people had to make some difficult decisions. Two-thirds of globally surveyed people report that they had to compromise their professional and personal lives because of the pandemic. They had to choose either between their work and their health, because of the health risks associated with present work, or between their work and family, because quarantine makes it particularly difficult to care for loved ones. For many people, it was not easy to fulfill both their private needs and their professional duties.

The biggest challenge is to stay healthy. This applies to physical, as well as mental health. This is followed by meeting the demands of work and personal life, managing stress, maintaining productivity, and coping with the workload. Although many people have been hit hard professionally, there is a hope that in every difficulty there is an opportunity.

Especially with regard to the increased need for transition into flexible work patterns (such as the home office) or the development of new skills. The only thing to watch out for here is that professionals might shut themselves off too much in the home office. Especially when they experience depression.

What can a company do to help their employees minimalize depressive moods?

To tackle or prevent depressive moods, emotional training is needed. Those affected can take the matter into their own hands - potentially even without the help of professional help. Therapists offer a great opportunity to analyze one's own feelings and thoughts, but they need many years of regular sessions to offer lasting success. In addition, there is the problem that therapy is currently incredibly difficult to obtain, and the waiting times are often at least 6 months.

That's where LUMEUS comes in - we help people find their own way out of the slump with the help of spoken scenes, affirmations, and specially composed orchestral music. With those, we help and support people on a daily basis. In the past, our emotional training has repeatedly shown how powerful human emotions are, and the impact they have on our minds.

Our training has a long track record of success, supported by many studies and customer reviews. Using spoken scenes, specially composed music, and affirmations, we help users achieve reduced anxiety, an improved state of mind, and better quality of sleep. For about 15 minutes a day, we take our users through an auditory journey guided by our voice actors. These include the founder of the Herzog Method and coach - Dagmar Herzog.

So - what are you waiting for? Download our emotional training in your app store here or send us a message here* if you're interested in an exclusive corporate offer.

Facts and figures

1. For every euro invested in psychotherapy, there is an overall social benefit of 2€ to 5.50€. 

2. The longer the waiting time, the higher the proportion of people who do not start treatment at all.

3. Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn proposed that apps to help against depression should be prescribed by doctors. More and more doctors comply with this.

4. According to the German Foundation for Depression Aid (Stiftung Deutsche Depressionshilfe), one in five employees has already suffered from depression, and 15 percent of all employees have already experienced a suicide or attempted suicide by a colleague. 

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