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General Information

What are Mood Disorders?

A mood disorder is a mental health class that health professional use to broadly describe all types of depression and bipolar disorders.

DBSA Resource Johns Hopkins Resource Mayo Clinic Resource
Coping with Mood Changes Later in Life

You may have been told that feeling sad, irritable, and hopeless is just a part of getting older. But it could be a sign of depression.

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Self-harm

Self-harm refers to a person harming his or her own body on purpose.

Read More

Anxiety & Depression Association of America Resources

Specific Mood Disorders

Depression Might Be More Common Than You Think

There are 19 million Americans living with depression, and it affects everyone differently. Not all treatment works the same for every person, but with an accurate diagnosis, effective medication, attention to health and wellness, and peer and family support, there is hope for recovery.

If you consistently feel down most of each day and most days for more than two weeks, seek professional help. Below are a few ways people commonly treat depression, and a physician can help decide which way is best for you.

Antidepressants
Antidepressants are medicines that your doctor may prescribe for depression. Medicine can helps up to 70 percent of people, especially those experiencing severe depression, or those who have experienced mild or moderate depression for a long time.

If its the first time youre being treated with medication and you are noticing side effects, dont just stop the medicationcall your providerthere may be a number of things that can be done to help. After you start feeling better you should stay on your medicine for at least six to 12 months. If youve been treated with medication before, you may need to stay on it longer.

Never stop taking medicine without contacting your doctor first, even if youre feeling better. There can be bad side effects from suddenly going off some medicines.

Therapy
For many people, talking with a mental health professional is helpful. In fact, therapy is about as effective as medicine for people with mild to moderate depression. Several studies show participating in therapies for a brief period of time helps long after the sessions are over. This is because people learn new ways to think and cope.

Exercising
Exercise, such as walking or running, has been proven to improve not only physical health, but also the psychological health of patients. It positively changes some of the same chemicals in the brain that are targeted by antidepressant medication, and also improves energy, relieves anxiety and boosts moods.

Exercise helps because it increases the good chemicals in your brain. It improves energy, relieves anxiety and helps you feel empowered. Talk to your doctor about how to start your treatment, and incorporate exercise into your plan.

Support Family and Friends
One way to support those you know who experience depression or other mental illnesses, is simply by talking to them and acknowledging their illness. Most people live with symptoms of a mental illness for ten years before seeking treatment, largely due to the stigma. Talking about mental illnesses is one way to help show your support and help break down the stigma.

Strong:MakeItOK.org

Identifying Depression in the Workplace

Do you know the signs of depression? Depression can come in many forms. Often times, the person suffering from depression feels alone and isolated, and may not realize their symptoms are serious.

Thats why education about depression in the workplace is so important. Becoming aware of the signs like those below can help you identify when an employee or fellow co-worker may need your support.

  • Deep feelings of sadness. Has their overall mood changed? Are they withdrawn from the team or isolating themselves?
  • Lack of interest. Is it hard for them to maintain their old performance levels? Do they not have the same degree of excitement about their work as they once did?
  • Changes in movement and speech. Are they talking slower or faster than normal? Do they seem either lethargic or fidgety lately?
  • Run down. Have they had an increase in sick days? At work, do they feel tired, foggy or like they have no energy?
  • Trouble concentrating or remembering. Have they been more forgetful than usual or had trouble remembering details? Do they forget what theyre doing?

How you can help:

  • If you think a coworker needs help, encourage them reach out to Kaman Work-Life Solutions or someone in Human Resources.
  • If you feel there’s an employee in immediate crisis, direct them to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.

Source:
Right Direction is an effort from the Partnership for Workplace Mental Health, a program of the American Psychiatric Association Foundation and Employers Health Coalition, Inc., and is supported by Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. (TPUSA) and Lundbeck U.S. 2016 Right Direction.

What Depression in the Workplace Looks Like

Just as depression impacts every aspect of life, work performance and productivity are almost always affected as well. This includes negative changes in workplace relationships, which can have far-reaching impact.

A depressed employees behavior changes. He or she may not see it, but coworkers surely will. The chart below demonstrates how the feelings caused by depression can look to others. Use it to start a conversation and promote understanding in your workplace.

What Depression Feels Like

  • Deep feelings of sadness
  • Loss of interest in work or social activities
  • Lack of concentration, slowed thoughts, and difficulty thinking
  • Forgetfulness and trouble remembering
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Feelings of worthlessness or experiencing inappropriate guilt
  • Energy loss or increased fatigue
  • Irritability, anger, or tearfulness
  • Weight or appetite changes

How it Looks to Coworkers

  • Withdrawal from team, isolates oneself
  • Indifference
  • Putting things off, missed deadlines, accidents on the job
  • Seems “scattered” or absentminded
  • Procrastination, indecisiveness, slowed productivity
  • Late to work, afternoon fatigue, accidents on the job
  • Unsure of abilities, lack of confidence
  • Low motivation, detatched
  • Inappropriate reactions, strained relationships with coworkers or clients
  • Change in appearance

Source:
Right Direction is an effort from the Partnership for Workplace Mental Health, a program of the American Psychiatric Association Foundation and Employers Health Coalition, Inc., and is supported by Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. (TPUSA) and Lundbeck U.S. 2016 Right Direction.

How to Approach a Coworker with Depression

Putting things off. Missing deadlines. Being indecisive.

If youve noticed these signs in a coworker, chances are he or she may be showing signs of depression. The signs of depression include lack of concentration, slowed thinking, trouble making decisions or energy loss. See more symptoms of depression and how they might appear to you.

Four tips to start the conversation

So, what can you do to help? Oftentimes, a conversation is a good place to start. Its best if you have the kind of relationship that makes it comfortable to do so. Depression can be lonely and frightening, but a conversation can help that person feel supported. Here are four ways you can approach your coworker to begin the conversation.

  1. Ask if he or she is okay. Tell your coworker that he or she hasnt seemed like themselves lately. Describe what youre seeing and how things have changed.
  2. Try not to jump in with solutions. He or she will likely benefit from your listening ear. Ask follow-up questions about how your coworkers feelings are impacting his or her daily life. Be reassuring and not judgmental since it may not be easy for the person to open up.
  3. Provide support. Let your coworker know depression is common and help is available. Ask what you can do to help. You might make suggestions like asking if he or she has spoken to a primary care provider or Kaman Work-Life Solutions. You can also connect the person to a source of care.
  4. Follow up. Keep conversations and information confidential unless youre worried your coworker may pose a danger. In those cases, talk to a manager or someone you trust immediately.

Remember, your coworker may not be ready to talk or seek help. Remind him or her that youre here to help when the time comes.

Source:
Right Direction is an effort from the Partnership for Workplace Mental Health, a program of the American Psychiatric Association Foundation and Employers Health Coalition, Inc., and is supported by Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. (TPUSA) and Lundbeck U.S. 2016 Right Direction.

Expand Your Circle of Support

They could be just simple conversations. Catching up with a friend, touching base with a coworker, or sharing the details of your day with a family member. Even science supports the fact that interacting with others can be beneficial to your health. Dopamine, found in the brain, controls reward and pleasure, and is released when you have positive interactions with others.

Here are six ways to build your connections based on insight from the University of Michigans Depression Tool Kit, the American Psychological Association and Mental Health America:

  • Establish who your social interactions are.Whomever you have around you even if its only a few people find trust in them.
  • Find a foundation in family.While professional help is good for support, family or a close group of friends may be even better.
  • Share your concerns.Constructively discuss your thoughts with others, being honest and open. This provides perspective and lets others know you care.
  • Do what you like best.Form a bond with others by doing something you enjoywhether its going on a hike or singing in a choir.
  • Dont be afraid to ask.You can find plenty of places for support if you dont know where to gofrom local health clinics to national organizations.
  • Build someone else up.Showing concerns for someone else may give you insights on your own concerns.

Source:
Right Direction is an effort from the Partnership for Workplace Mental Health, a program of the American Psychiatric Association Foundation and Employers Health Coalition, Inc., and is supported by Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. (TPUSA) and Lundbeck U.S. 2016 Right Direction.