How to manage missing work due to depression?


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Page last updated: 10/11/2022

How to manage missing work due to depression?

This blog answers: How to manage missing work due to depression? What is depression? What are the symptoms of depression? What are the treatment options for depression?

How to manage missing work due to depression?

Following are some of the ways in which people with depression can manage missing work.

Seek professional help:

The first thing someone with depression should do is to seek help from a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist. This is extremely important because depression just doesn’t go away by itself. Depression is deeply rooted in our biology and cognition, which makes it very hard to deal with it just on one’s own.

Depression affects almost every aspect of life, ranging from job to physical health and personal relationships. It literally puts our life in danger, and that’s evident from the risk of suicidal ideation in depressed people.

That’s why seeking professional help is of utmost importance and urgency. One can’t solve the problem of missing work or any other work-related issue without first dealing with depression itself.

Take a break:

Depressed people are already exhausted both physically and mentally. Doing a job is extremely stressful in itself. That’s why it is extremely important to take a break when one feels stressed out. Taking a break may include taking a leave or even just getting out of the office for fresh air.

Breakfast is a must

People with depression often have appetite-related issues. Skipping breakfast is common among depressed individuals. Studies show that skipping depression is highly linked with mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.

Just having a proper breakfast decreases our chances our burnout quite substantially. One way of minimizing work-related stress is to have breakfast, even if it’s a little. Also, try to keep it healthy and nutritious.

Practice meditation and mindfulness

Mediation and other mindfulness exercise are very helpful in dealing with depression. Having regular mediation sessions can be very helpful for people who miss on work due to depression. Meditation not only relaxes the mind; it is also very beneficial for physical health. Meditation and mindfulness exercises can help you relax, which can then help you concentrate on your work properly.

Take to the managers

Talk to whoever is in charge of the workplace. Tell them about your depression so that they are aware of the fact that you are not missing work for no reason. They would, in turn, try to help you by putting less burden on you or granting you leaves, or allowing you to take regular breaks at work.

Change your work environment if it’s not supportive

Having an unsupportive work environment is one of the major reasons why both people with depression and normal people alike don’t want to go to work. They know that it’s going to be a rough day. If that’s the case, one should find a workplace where the coworkers and management are nice and supportive.

How to manage missing work due to depression?

What is depression?

Depression is one of the most common serious mental health conditions that negatively impact how an individual feels and thinks.

Depression is associated with feelings of sadness, a loss of interest in daily activities, and drastic changes in the energy level and the daily routines of an individual.

Depression in itself can lead to other physical and emotional problems which can be detrimental to a person’s functioning.

The symptoms of depression can vary from individual to individual from mild to severe depending on various factors.

Studies indicate that depression affects about 15% of adults every year and one in every six people experience depression at some time in their life.

Although depression can occur at any age it is more common among teenagers and early adults. Research indicates that women are more vulnerable to depression than men.

What are the symptoms of depression?

The characteristic symptoms of depression are:

  • Feelings of sadness or depressed mood
  • Loss of interest in activities enjoyed in the past
  • Changes in appetite leading to weight gain or weight loss
  • Changes in sleep patterns with very little sleep or long hours of sleep
  • Decrease in the level of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Feeling guilty
  • Difficulty thinking and concentrating
  • In severe cases thoughts of death or suicide

Symptoms of depression must last up to two weeks and cause significant impairment in an individual’s daily functioning to meet the diagnosis of depression.

What are the treatment options for depression?

Depression though widespread is one of the most treatable mental illnesses. About 90% of people with depression respond well to treatment.

Some possible treatment options for depression are


Antidepressants are very commonly prescribed by doctors to individuals with depression. These medications are not sedatives or tranquilizers. They generally do not have any stimulating effects on people who do not experience depression.

Antidepressants usually show their effects within a few weeks. However, in cases where patients do not see any improvement after several weeks, they can alter their doses based on the suggestions provided by their health care practitioners.


Psychotherapy is also called talk therapy. It is used as a single mode of treatment for mild depression or for moderate to severe depression along with antidepressants.

Psychotherapy might involve the individual alone or other related individuals for instance the family of the concerned person.

Depending on the severity of depression psychotherapy might take a few weeks or much longer for significant improvement

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy where the therapist actively focuses on problem-solving. This is done by helping individuals replace their negative thoughts with more positive ones.

Electroconvulsive therapy

Electroconvulsive therapy is a treatment mode that is commonly used for patients with severe and major depression who usually do not respond to other lines of treatment.

It involves brief electrical stimulation of the brain while the patient is under anesthesia.

Patients receive electroconvulsive therapy two or three times a week for a total of 6 to 12 sessions.

Self-help and coping strategies

Apart from therapy and medicine individuals can also carry out some self-help coping strategies such as carrying out regular exercises, getting sufficient sleep, indulging in pleasurable activities, maintaining a healthy diet, and avoiding alcohol to reduce their symptoms of depression.


People who suffer from depression have a hard time performing tasks, even everyday mundane tasks. They just don’t have the energy to get up and do their chores. They have difficulty concentrating and feel sad, which hinders them from working.

They are also physically and mentally stressed, which makes it extremely difficult for them to engage in any activities. That’s why people with depression have a high rate of unemployment.

Because they are unable to concentrate on their job and give it proper time and energy, they often get fired. Unemployment further increases their depression.  Apart from that, they also have a hard time getting another job.

Depression is a true killer.  It penetrates every aspect of one’s life and makes one feel helpless. It is one of the most common reasons why people experience burnout and miss work.

Seeking professional help, eating breakfast, exercising regularly, doing meditation, taking breaks during work are some of the ways in which one can manage missing work due to depression and also depression itself.

Frequently asked questions: How to manage missing work due to depression?


What’s the difference between work stress and work depression?

Work stress is common natural. It goes away once one leaves the workplace. It also decreases with time. Work depression is more permanent, and it increases with time.

What are some symptoms of work depression?

Some of the symptoms of work depression include arriving late at work or missing work, isolation from colleagues, missing deadlines, poor hygiene, forgetfulness, and irritability.

Does remote work cause depression?

Remote work can also cause depression because it is very difficult to separate work from the job when one is working from home.