Coping With Mild Depression Symptoms

Could Mild Depression Be Effecting You?

mild depressionSomewhere between 10 and 15 million Americans deal with mild to severe depression symptoms every year.  Depression is the most expensive health care issue that American employers face, with an employee depression event costing, on average, 5% to 10% more than a heart attack.  Depression results in the greatest number of lost work days, the largest loss in productivity, and increased employee turnover numbers.  Because depression symptoms usually start out rather mild and become progressively severe with time (unless triggered by a significant emotional event), it makes good sense to help employees start coping with mild depression as soon as symptoms arise.

What are symptoms of mild depression?  There are dozens, and each individual episode of depression is unique, but here is a list of common mild depression symptoms:

  • Change in work quality
  • Change in attendance and/or engagement
  • Loss of appetite
  • Change in sleep habits
  • Frequent or prolonged irritability
  • General malaise or apathy

Once you recognize these (or similar) symptoms in yourself or a coworker, you can begin to mitigate the impact of mild depression, and hopefully reverse the trend before it becomes more serious.  Here are a few tips for how to beat mild depression.

  • Get plenty of rest.  Lack of sleep is a significant life stressor, and also contributes to physical difficulties.  Every cell in our bodies needs sleep for proper mitochondrial function.
  • Don’t consume alcohol.  Alcohol and depression are extremely strongly correlated.
  • Exercise.  Endorphins are a natural anti-depressant, and are extremely powerful.
  • Get outside.  Sunlight elevates mood and generates much-needed Vitamin D.
  • Eat well.  Avoid starches such as rice, breads, and potatoes (including french fries), and avoid sugar at all costs.  The associated insulin fluctuations result in mood crashes.
  • Seek help if you feel that you are at risk of harming yourself or someone else.  There is no stigma with seeking help.  In fact, it’s one of the most responsible decisions you can make.

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