Can work stress cause depression

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  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

    Also visit the online treatment locator.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

Also visit the online treatment locator, or send your zip code via text message: 435748 (HELP4U) to find help near you. Read more about the HELP4U text messaging service.

The service is open 24/7, 365 days a year.

English and Spanish are available if you select the option to speak with a national representative. Currently, the 435748 (HELP4U) text messaging service is only available in English.

In 2020, the Helpline received 833,598 calls. This is a 27 percent increase from 2019, when the Helpline received a total of 656,953 calls for the year.

The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.

The service is confidential. We will not ask you for any personal information. We may ask for your zip code or other pertinent geographic information in order to track calls being routed to other offices or to accurately identify the local resources appropriate to your needs.

No, we do not provide counseling. Trained information specialists answer calls, transfer callers to state services or other appropriate intake centers in their states, and connect them with local assistance and support.

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Last Updated: 08/30/2022

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5 proven ways to help beat chronic stress

Contents of the article

Chronic stress damages areas of the prefrontal cortex that are responsible for emotional state and behavior. It becomes difficult for a person to reduce negative emotions on his own, he sees the world only in gray colors. All events at work or in personal life cause panic, anxiety and depression, the state of a person is gradually approaching emotional and professional burnout. If you are faced with chronic stress, then you urgently need to restore internal balance. We have prepared 6 proven ways from our free online stress management course to help you increase your stress tolerance. nine0003

Step 1 - switch to another activity (games, walking, simple tasks)

If you feel that a wave of strong negative emotions will overwhelm you right now, then at this moment you need to calm yourself down. This requires a lot of effort, especially under chronic stress. Therefore, it is necessary to develop self-control and willpower, but this is in the long term. In an emergency, playing games on the phone, a quick walk in the fresh air will help to distract. If you can't leave your workplace, then start doing simple tasks that will help you get rid of thoughts. nine0003

Step 2 - don't overwork yourself to reduce stress hormones

When a person is under stress, different hormones begin to be released in the body, one of them is cortisol. In moderation, cortisol is good for a person, but excessive levels can lead to depression. Cortisol can be produced just from thinking about chronic stress. The more you wind yourself up, the more you fall into a stressful state. Many mistakenly think that just relaxing on the couch in front of the TV can reduce stress, but this will only make matters worse. It is important to distract yourself from internal experiences and switch your thoughts. nine0003

Step 3 - Activate the Mind to Suppress Emotions

Once you have worked through your emotions, you need to get your brain active and engage in rational thinking. There are several ways to do this:

  • Jogging or light exercise. Only light physical activity will help to cope with stress. It is important that you have a desire to play sports. Exhausting workouts, on the contrary, can harm you even more.
  • Proper nutrition. Give up sugary and fatty, consume as many calories as your body needs.
  • Training. Do not let your brain get bored and distracted by experiences. Take various courses, watch webinars, develop yourself.

Step 4 - Reduce Inflammation in the Body

Studies have shown that stress causes chronic inflammation in the body. Stress, depression and inflammation are in a strong bond, provoking the appearance of each other. Therefore, it is necessary to start treating inflammation in the body in order to reduce long-term stress. Or, conversely, work on two problems at once. nine0003

Step 5 - enjoy life to overcome stress

During prolonged stress, you do not want to do anything, even do what you love. A person is almost constantly in a negative mood. To get out of this vicious circle, you must independently arouse in yourself the desire to do something. Think about what brings you pleasure. Imagine how you will enjoy this. Once you start the process, enjoy every minute. nine0003

How to survive at work and stay happy: five tips

Image copyright, Getty Images

Work is almost always stressful, but if you follow these simple rules, it can be significantly reduced or completely eliminated. The BBC Russian service has collected recommendations from psychologists, sociologists and other researchers on how to avoid "burnout" and feel happy at work. nine0046

1. Separate work and life. Even in thoughts

Thoughts about work cause neuroses that have a bad effect on work. This pattern, obvious to many, has now been confirmed by science based on the theory of boundaries - a discipline that studies the relationship of man to space and time, which he considers his own.

If you check your mail when you come home from work or on your day off, there is a risk that you will develop a neurosis. This has been proven in earlier work. However, even just thinking about what you might have in your workbox right now, you are at the same risk and most likely expose your loved ones to it. nine0003

The theory is outlined in a paper by Virginia Tech Associate Professor William Becker entitled The Gentle Killer: Monitoring Electronic Communications and the Psychological State of Employees and Their Spouses.

"The demands of work and non-work life compete with each other, and people are faced with a dilemma that creates anxiety and threatens both work and personal life," writes Becker.

Research has already shown that stress at work and bringing work home is bad for family relationships, but a new study says you don't have to work from home to experience the effect. Just thinking about it is enough. nine0003

The authors decided to focus on e-mail. Checking work mail or chat in private time is one of those things that lies at the intersection of personal and business, and in different companies this issue is solved in different ways.

Responsibility for creating an atmosphere of nervousness ultimately lies with the boss - this is the conclusion Becker and his co-authors come to.

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Bosses, Becker writes, always let employees know if they expect them to work in "always-on" mode.

"Expectations like these, whether real or imagined, cause burnout and work-life imbalance. This causes much more harm than wasting the time it takes to read and answer all work emails when you get home," write the authors. research. nine0003

Due to modern communication technologies, it is more difficult than ever for employees to separate work and family, and the expectation that a person will change social roles on the fly makes the situation even more difficult.

"Our work reveals a sad reality: a flexible working day often turns into an endless working day," sums up Becker. The solution he proposes is quite obvious. It's best for bosses to make it clear that they don't expect subordinates to check email outside of work, and subordinates not to. nine0003

2. Don't think about the salary, enjoy the process

Photo author, Getty Images

Image caption,

Try not to think about the salary

Working for monetary reward is unproductive, scientists say.

Scientists have proved that the thought of a reward at the end of a difficult and long work - for example, the thought of a salary at the end of the month - does not give a person motivation.

In a study published in July by Caitlin Wooley, associate professor of marketing at the Graduate School of Management. Johnson at Cornell develops this idea. nine0003

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"Motivation changes as the strength of the association between an action and a particular outcome changes," she writes. Simply put, this means that work is intrinsically motivated when it is perceived as an end in itself.

"Then a person is motivated to continue activities for his own sake, because he cannot separate the benefit from the task from the task itself," writes Wooley, coming to the conclusion that it is better to give remuneration for work right in the process, and better even before it starts. . nine0003

Her theory is supported by an experiment in which participants were given different tasks (for example, watch a video, complete a task, or read a book). As a result of the work, they were either given chocolate or paid money.

Based on the participants' behavior and conversations after the experiment was completed, the researchers realized that the earlier a person received a reward, the more obvious was the relationship between the work process and the pleasure of receiving a prize or payment. And as a result, intrinsic motivation increased. nine0003

3. Block yourself from information noise

Turning on a work computer, a person finds himself in several communication environments at once. Different information comes to us through different channels, requiring us to respond.

This effect of information noise leads to the fact that we end up distracted, and at least a couple of hours a day are spent aimlessly wandering through social networks. In addition, work stress increases.

Image copyright, Getty Images

Photo caption,

Procrastination is also a response to stress

In the summer of 2017, the Bitrix24 analytical center surveyed more than a thousand representatives of Russian companies. 67% of survey participants said they feel the pressure of information noise during the working day.

  • How old do you feel? Your future depends on it

About a third of respondents admitted that they pick up the phone every six minutes or more, and also cannot concentrate on one task for more than 10 minutes. nine0003

Companies solve this problem in different ways, a popular measure is the regulation of the information environment in the office, but the problem is rather in the biological structure of a person. When a person shares information about himself - and this is what most of our activity on social networks consists of - his dopamine production is activated.

That is why in those moments when concentration is required from us at work or it is simply difficult for us, we think about social networks, reach into our pocket for the phone, and productivity drops. nine0003

There are several simple ways to isolate yourself from information noise - solve problems not simultaneously, but in turn; take small breaks from work and focus on breathing when getting up from the computer, and turn off unnecessary applications on the phone before the start of the working day.

4. Don't be a workaholic

If you feel like you're irreplaceable, the next step is a nervous breakdown, says researcher Gordon Peterson.

Actually, everyone loves workaholics. If a person works hard and achieves a lot, he is successful. For some, being labeled a workaholic is a badge of honor. nine0003

However, there are people who put work above everything else - relationships, health, impressions and, of course, leisure. The price they pay for success is too high.

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It's important to understand that not everyone who works hard is a workaholic, writes psychotherapist Brian Robinson, author of the book Chained to the Desk about workaholics.

"Workaholism is not determined by how many hours you spend at work, but by what goes on in your head," he writes. nine0003

To understand. Are you a workaholic, just answer the following questions. If most of the answers are positive, it might be worth considering.

  • You are thinking about how to free up time for work
  • You often spend more time at work than you intended
  • You work to avoid guilt, anxiety, helplessness and depression, and this helps you
  • If you forbidden to work, you fall into a depressed state.

In 2016, the Workaholics Anonymous organization held its first session in Britain. She helps people understand that they are workaholics and tries to heal them through group sessions and a 12-step program.

This program, however, is not suitable for everyone, since workaholics are offered to turn to religion and the final stage in the program is the knowledge of God.

5. Communicate with colleagues to avoid depression

Depression is one of the most common psychological ailments. Workplace depression is also common. Psychologists in the US estimate the economic cost of work depression at $44 billion a year, Psychology Today magazine points out. nine0003

Most of this damage is not due to the lack of people in the office due to depression, but the so-called presenteeism - people come to the office despite depression and work far from their full potential.

The main thing, of course, is not abstract figures of financial damage and not abstract concepts like presenteeism, but the fact that hundreds of millions of people around the world work in spite of depression, suffering from it.

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