It is one of the psychological disorders that most affect workers and, therefore, companies. Depression at work is a feeling of sadness, discouragement and continuous discouragement related to the job.

In some serious cases, the worker can request a leave of absence due to depression . This situation may be due either to personal issues (in the case of grief for the death of a family member or any other particularly serious circumstance) or to issues related to the working environment (a situation of mobbing, of late payment of salaries, etc).

This feeling of sadness is not punctual but remains over a long period of time and causes the worker to perform less and have serious problems in leading a normal life.

What is depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that many people have at some point in their lives . It is essential to be able to detect the circumstances that are causing this depressed mood. Knowing the causes it is possible to start therapy or follow a series of psychological guidelines to get out of this bad situation.

Workplace depression: what is it?

We spend many hours in the work environment, so anything that happens in that context can affect the way we value ourselves, and this can cause depression in serious cases.

In some organizations they take special care in attending to the level of well-being of their employees. In this way, if there is a relevant situation, they can take concrete steps so that the person or persons affected can seek support from a trusted figure in the human resources team. In addition, this type of psychological problem resulting from a bad working environment has important effects on the company’s accounting balance.

Below, we will learn what the most common symptoms of depression at work are, and how to detect and help a person with this mood disorder.


Workplace depression is a disorder that originates in the workplace but can show its effects beyond that context:

  • Sadness and apathy
  • Anxiety without a specific cause
  • Work demotivation
  • Constant fatigue; feeling of being “burned out”
  • Changes in weight
  • Irritability and outbursts in the work environment
  • Low concentration and poor performance
  • Increased time required to perform daily functions
  • Increased errors and misunderstandings in your work
  • Occasional withdrawals
    In the case of this disease, co-workers and direct superiors of the affected individual can be very helpful in diagnosing the problem.


But, what are the most frequent causes of depression at work? We analyze them below:

  • Having lived a traumatic or especially stressful experience
  • A work environment in which the employee is not in control of the situation
  • Continued frustration at not achieving desired results
  • Particularly stressful and demanding working conditions
  • Communication problems and conflicts with peers or superiors
  • Excessive responsibilities not commensurate with salary
  • Lack of appreciation and recognition of the work performed by the employee
    If you detect that you or one of your office colleagues presents this symptomatology, it is time to take action and start a psychological therapy that will be based on different points.


Mental health professionals use a variety of techniques, strategies, and activities that, if implemented correctly, can reduce the symptoms of depression at work.

The treatment to be followed must be adapted to each person and their problems . Each work context is unique and the causes and symptoms will determine how the situation should be dealt with and which therapeutic tools will be more successful.

Let’s learn some general tips and solutions that can help us in case we suffer from depression at work.

1. Sensitizes employees

Making workers aware of work disorders and how to prevent them is a great idea and serves to avoid cases of helplessness . At the very least, employees learn to detect dangerous situations and to report when something is not right.
Information is power, and being able to identify risk situations among the work team is one of the most obvious ways to minimize the impact that this problem can have on certain members.

2. Talk about it

This is not an uncommon disorder: many people suffer from work-related depression at some point in their career. Talking about it and sharing your feelings with your co-workers will make the psychological burden less.

The mere act of introspection and talking to someone about how you feel and what’s going on in your office will make you feel better and make sense of what’s going on. Your support people can give you feedback on the situation and advise you on how to remedy the conflict you are concerned about. Also, if your peers are knowledgeable about your situation, they will probably empathize with you and try to find solutions.

3. Transfer your concern to your superiors

First of all, if you decide to take this step, it is important that you treat it with discretion and confidentiality.

In most cases, the company can understand the complaints of the person concerned and take appropriate action to alleviate the situation (especially if there is an excessive workload or a communication problem). In any case, if you are the person who is suffering from depression at work, remember to communicate this circumstance properly and with all possible precautions, in a tone of maximum cordiality. It is much better for superiors to see that you are in a constructive mood than for them to perceive you as a person who destabilizes the group or who does not fulfill his or her obligations.

They may be able to give you a few days off to take some time off and charge batteries.

4. Go to psychological therapy

If you are suffering from depression at work or you detect that a colleague may be at risk, it is very useful to go to a mental health professional who can treat the causes and symptoms of this disorder .
Each professional will study the case in depth and make decisions about the best therapy and tools to use. Detecting the causes of work-related depression correctly will help the therapist understand the situation much better.

Bibliographic references:

  • American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. DSM-IV-TR. Washington, DC: Author (2000). (Spanish translation, Barcelona: Masson, 2002).
  • .

  • Dr. Alfredo Horacio Cìa (2002). Anxiety and its disorders. Buenos Aires: By Productos Roche S. A. Q. and I.
  • Drake RE, Cimpean D, Torrey WC (2009). Shared decision making in mental health: prospects for personalized medicine. Dialogues Clin Neurosci 2009; 11: 455-63.
  • Kesselheim AS, Misono AS, Lee JL, Stedman MR, Brookhart MA, Choudhry NK, Shrank WH (2008). Equivalencia clínica de los medicamentos genéricos y de marca utilizados en las enfermedades cardiovasculares: una revisión sistemática y un metaanálisis. JAMA. 2008 3 de diciembre; 300(21):2514-26.