Depression, Anxiety and Working from Home

Depression in the workplace is more prevalent than ever before. Statistics show that 1 in 5 people will experience mental health issues, including depression and anxiety, at some point in their career. In some professions that number can be as high as 1 in 3. The statistics for work-from-home freelancers, however, are not as clearly documented. What is known is that more and more self-employed people who work from their own homes are prone to feelings of isolation and loneliness, two factors that can indeed cause depression, and if left untreated, can lead to anxiety attacks. It's alarming then when we learn that a surprisingly low number of freelancers and work-from-homers actually seek out medical help.

4 Early Warning Signals of Depression

There are usually four main categories people experience when they are feeling depressed. The first is a deterioration of their physical well-being. This can include sleep disturbances, headaches, lethargy and extreme fatigue. Sometimes they will suffer real health consequences such as stomach disorders, colds and flu, and just generally feel run down. Their physical appearance may also change with the result that they appear less well-groomed, tired and exhausted.


The second category that tends to change is the mood. People might become a bit more irritable, more frustrated, and even short-tempered and angry. Thirdly, their behaviour changes. People who are on the verge of a depression tend to become socially withdrawn and very often there is a noticeable decline in their job performance. They are also more likely to make common errors and may even have accidents. The fourth category takes place in the mind. Depressed people may start to think differently. They become more negative or pessimistic, and they can start worrying a lot more than they would normally do.


But a lot of the time people who work in highly stressful jobs like running their own business from home don't even notice they are in danger of becoming depressed. They have too much responsibility to even think about being ill. They simply don't have the time to be ill. If you're in this category then take a look at these five tell-tale signs you could be in for a bout of depression.


5 Signs You're Depressed

Please note, if you are experiencing any of the signs on this list, it doesn't necessarily mean you are suffering from depression. You might just be having a bad day, or it might be something that you do to cope. Either way, if you are in any doubt it's always better to seek out medical advice.


#1 A Surge in Alcohol Consumption

Instead of having the occasional drink with dinner, all of a sudden you are up to 2 or 3 a night. It's a known fact that alcohol is the most common tactic people use to self-medicate. It's easily accessible and if a large enough amount is consumed it numbs you and provides a respite from stress and worry. The only problem is that it's not a permanent fix and you're going to wake up in even more pain. And if you continue, there's a good chance you could become an alcoholic. Which just means that you have another problem to deal with. If you find yourself night after night consuming more alcohol than you used to then you should ask yourself why. Then you can get the cause of the real reason why you are drinking so much.


#2 An Increase in Apathy

Before you get depression you might find yourself in a state where you don't allow yourself to feel any pain. Rather than be sad you decide to forgo feelings altogether. This is the point where you need to talk to someone and seek help. The more you try to keep everything in and try to push down your feelings, the bigger the repercussions will be when they do surface. This is also likely to give you anxiety, and will often cause you to alienate those around you, including those who love and care for you.


#3 Too Much Socialising

This is completely on the opposite spectrum of the previous point, but sometimes people who are depressed will stretch themselves thin with all the stuff they're doing in an attempt to distract themselves from their feelings. This doesn't mean that if you're behaving socially then you are depressed. Some people really enjoy company and they don't like being alone. However, if the reason you are keeping busy is to keep yourself from wrestling with your thoughts and feelings then it's high time to slow things down. You can attempt to distract yourself as much as you want but you'll probably have a dark cloud hanging over you the whole time. Again, now might be a good time to talk to a medical professional.


#4 Problems Accepting Praise or Goodwill

If you find yourself brushing off people who are complimenting or congratulating you on a job well done, then there's a good chance you're feeling unworthy of their praise. Which again doesn't necessarily mean you're depressed or anxious. It could just mean you truly think you didn't perform well. But if it's something that happens constantly and you generally feel that nothing you do is good enough then it could mean that you suffer from low self-esteem, which over time can evolve into depression.


#5 Constant Negative Feelings

Depression takes a physical, mental, and an emotional toll. If you're depressed and not seeing anyone or treating it then it means you're probably in constant pain for long periods of time. You might be feeling sad or hopeless, and like nothing you can do will make things better. You can lose interest in activities you used to enjoy, and even the simplest of tasks seem difficult, at home and at work.


Remember, each of the above could just mean you're having a bad day, but deep down you'll know if you're depressed or not. And if you are then you need to talk to a family member or a friend. Or if you think they won't understand, seek out a professional, in person, or anonymously, by phone or online. There is always someone willing to listen and to offer some good advice on how best to deal with your depression.




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