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Depression at Work

by Felicia Chan


Depression is one of the most common mental health challenges that Malaysians face. Some of the factors in the workplace that can contribute to depression include:


  • Unreasonably high demand of work at workplace

  • Vague guidance at workplace

  • Poor communication which caused miscommunication at workplace

  • Decrease in work-life balance

  • Financial struggles

While your workplace might not be the cause of your depression, it might be one of the triggers when you are already suffering from mental health problem and it can worsen the symptoms of depression.


Signs of Depression in the Workplace

Depression is characterized by different symptoms which might affect you at work. It can affect individuals differently. The signs of depression at work can include but are not limited to:

  • Loss of motivation at workplace.

  • Persistent low mood for more than 2 weeks.

  • Difficulty managing stress at workplace, which can lead to the stress affecting you outside of work - e.g., being too stressed to find time for yourself to exercise or socialise.

  • Difficulty making decision at work - e.g., finding it hard to focus or lacking self-confidence.

  • Crying spells.

  • Having sense of hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness.

  • Social isolation such as withdrawal from social interaction with colleagues.

  • Being late to work.

  • Reduced productivity.

Managing Depression in the Workplace

If you are experiencing depression in the workplace, there are a few strategies you can use to support your mental health:

  • Practice mindfulness: for instance, you could take 5 minutes break and incorporate deep breathing exercises into your day.

  • Do something you enjoy every day after work for 30 minute, such as journaling or any activities apart from work, that you find pleasure in.

  • Exercise for 30 minutes.

  • Have small breaks in between work.

  • Make time for yourself (eg: take a day off to take care of your mental health)

If you feel overwhelmed or unsure of where to start, reach out for help with a qualified professional. A clinical psychologist can help you to identify whether you are suffering from depression and work collaboratively with you to come out with a healthier lifestyle to help you to better cope with your symptoms. They may also refer you to psychiatrist if they feel that you need medication. We are offering assessment and treatment for depression starting at RM 150.


If you are a organisation looking to support your employee's mental health, The Mind Faculty offer corporate services ranging from confidential therapy sessions to interactive workshops.


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