Are You Aware of Workplace Depression?

Most all of our articles in this publication are about our experiences as a nurse working with our patients and/or their families. It could also be about a lesson we have learned about a procedure that we want to share with both seasoned and new nurses that could make their job easier. There is also insight into difficult situations that have been shared to give a different perspective or suggest a new approach. MANY offer “food for thought.”

Last year around this time I wrote about PTSD and suicide which is prevalent around this time of the year. I mentioned that PTSD is not restricted to just our veterans; however, the fact that every 24 hours 22 veterans commit suicide is a staggering fact. PTSD can also impact anyone unable to cope from a drastic, life altering event.

Depression at the holidays has been written about time and time again and we know, without a doubt, that it exists for many. Maybe as you read this article you are depressed and are having difficulty with life this holiday season. So many memories are made during the holidays, and there is a picture in our mind of very special people with whom we had our best times. Memories are snapshots in our mind.

However, when our income, family life, or health are affected our lives can become a living nightmare. Do you have co-workers right now where you work that possibly may need a little boost from YOU? Yes, I’m looking at you through this article and I can see the expression on your face and your thoughts may be……”Hell No, I hardly have time for myself.” Don’t feel bad because this is a common response that is not always verbally expressed. BUT more commonly we express it by looking the other way.

Being older, and kind of retired, I have had time to reflect back on my years of nursing with other staff members. There were both good and bad experiences as we worked together. I regret that there were many situations when I responded to their needs as being “too busy.” It’s true, maintaining a family and trying to work, etc can drain a person big time, but how many times did I watch and use this as nothing more than an excuse? How about you? Let’s face it, it is easier for all of us to turn a blind eye to the people we work shoulder-to-shoulder with, than to give them a “piece of ourselves.” Are you reading this article and thinking, “Well I’ve never done that!” Okay, you can be the saint. But for many I bet this “rings a bell.”

It’s funny how a little time away from the scene can open your eyes to just how many mistakes you made and regret them. I hope by myself talking about them that you can think about the people you work with and look at them just a little differently. The regrets are not worth it.

Very few times do we know a co-worker’s entire background and all the “building blocks” that made them the person you see. Many may be wearing scars that are deep and engraved upon their very being, and others may be daily blocking the horrors of their childhood that they have battled for years. You never know. Sound like the job for a “shrink?” Yes you are right, and it is some of the best money I have ever spent. Depression is not something to be ashamed of, hidden under an invisible blanket…if you or someone you know is depressed….SEEK QUALIFIED HELP! You can win!!!

As I reflect on my career, I remember specific situations I regret and wish I would have went the extra mile. The wife had worked her “rear end off” to help her family get ahead and build a life just to find out that her husband had been cheating on her and wanted to “throw her away.” Isn’t that how one would feel giving your all and you are no longer wanted? I could have been a better ear. I could have helped to maintain her dignity and self worth because her trust was shattered.

Then there were ones in my “work family” that lost loved ones or they were caring for loved ones at home that were ill. How did I turn my back when I noticed the bags under their eyes from sleepless nights? Could I have volunteered to give then a break one night…one stupid night out of my life…to allow them a good nights rest? Could I have brought in some dinners or helped with a chore?

Let’s not forget the “working poor.” Maybe they are a single mom or someone whose spouse lost their job and money is super tight. You know they are struggling and it’s so easy to put some money in an envelope and send it to their home, put it in their coat pocket and mark it from Santa or someone who cares.

Anyone you know that is battling a disease and working? Know anyone that is NOT looking forward to life, let alone the holidays? Bet you can think of a thousand ways to help them.

ALL of these issues still exist. So many life depression situations can be helped. Again, depression is nothing to be ashamed of and if you can help…ask. Encourage others or yourself to seek help! Quietly keep someone else’s struggles to yourself and be someone who can be considered trusted. Stand beside them and with them to keep moving on. You can be part of someone’s healing or battle process if you just look around. Life is way too short to have wished you would have done something and didn’t. Compassion is not just for patients…spread it around in the up coming year!

32 thoughts on “Are You Aware of Workplace Depression?

    • December 11, 2017 at 12:10 pm
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      Thanks Tammy!!!

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  • December 9, 2017 at 10:13 am
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    Very good article and soo true!

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    • December 11, 2017 at 12:11 pm
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      Thanks and it is true not only for the medical field but for most any job!!!

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  • December 9, 2017 at 11:39 am
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    How true linda. I can think of many times we could help those in need and choose for one reason or another to turn away. Perhaps this article will provide a reminder for readers to find more ways to show compassion to those who really need it.

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    • December 11, 2017 at 12:12 pm
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      Yes…..so true. We are only human and a lot of times so overcome by our own circumstances……but trying to look around more!

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  • December 9, 2017 at 12:48 pm
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    Yes, I am. After working in the mental health field for over 25+ year’s; you see so much pain and suffering. You can’t help not to be affected. We carry our own baggage into our jobs; from the past and the present. For me, the depression and anxiety came after having a heart attack. Nurse’s and any care givers are stretched so thin these days. It’s become about the money more so than patient care. I see the hurt in care givers eyes and face

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    • December 11, 2017 at 12:14 pm
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      Thanks for your comment Pam…..it is true in all walks of life…..we do have our own baggage and we can be hit with depression just like anyone else……we NEVER know what is behind the face before us……

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  • December 9, 2017 at 12:53 pm
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    Good article…and one we all need to think about. Sometimes the smallest gestures can mean the world to someone.

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    • December 11, 2017 at 12:15 pm
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      Agree……..posted the other day how we all can be the “lighthouse in someone’s storm.”

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    • December 11, 2017 at 12:16 pm
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      Thanks Carol for taking the time to read……I know everyone is busy but comments really help!!!

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    • December 13, 2017 at 11:44 am
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      Thanks so much!!!!!

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  • December 9, 2017 at 3:49 pm
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    Very true…especially during the Holidays. I know I am reminded by this article to be watchful for co-workers that might need a lift and a hand this holiday season.

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    • December 11, 2017 at 12:17 pm
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      Thanks Carol……I really think we can all identify with this article !

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  • December 9, 2017 at 4:10 pm
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    This hits so close to home for me, Linda. Adtercmy accident, I craved my co-workers friendships. But no one called. Not even a card. It wasas if I didn’t exist. I knew they were busy, but I had known and worked with these people for 20 years. So I went into a deep depression. We can make a difference. We need to be there for each other. Just a few minutes can make a huge difference in someone’s life.

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    • December 11, 2017 at 12:18 pm
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      No one knows what another is going through…..sometimes we have to dig a little harder!!!

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  • December 9, 2017 at 4:55 pm
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    Who wrote this? Whoever did should get a raise!

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    • December 11, 2017 at 12:18 pm
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      Great thought Darrell…..don’t think they are doing raises….LOL

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  • December 9, 2017 at 5:08 pm
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    Great thought, and glad to see a medical professional who can see the patients’ point of view. Keep them coming.

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    • December 11, 2017 at 12:19 pm
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      Thank you Andrew……we all must keep our eyes open for those who are in need…..thanks again for your comment!

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  • December 10, 2017 at 9:52 am
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    Wow…..You hit that on the nose……many folks would just do the same….I’m too busy…especially this time of year to help others! Stop and think…..and read this well said article from Linda Dawson! Job well done!!

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    • December 11, 2017 at 12:21 pm
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      Thank you Sonja so much for your comment…..it is the truth……we are all too busy around this time of the year……sometimes we have to take the blinders off and look around!!!

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  • December 11, 2017 at 8:50 am
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    Great article and so needed this time of the year. Everyone is so busy that they fail to notice the many needs around them, especially depression. Linda, you really brought these things to light in this writing. Thanks for your words that I am sure will touch many lives and help many people during this Holiday season.

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    • December 11, 2017 at 12:22 pm
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      Thanks Bunny…..I hope it will help people to look around and be a blessing to others!!!

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  • December 12, 2017 at 5:42 am
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    Thank you so much. So often patients are rushed through, due to tight scheduling or overworked hospital nurses…just taking a few minutes to go one step beyond one’s job description, such as spending a few extra minutes in supportive listening, helping them connect to a new resource, etc can make a huge difference. Patients can tell when nurses don’t seem to care and it either makes them mad or sad. Holidays are even worse for so many who are grieving over dead family members. Just one nurse can have a big impact on someone who is alone.

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    • December 12, 2017 at 10:02 pm
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      Thank you for reading and commenting back Deirdre. I have always believed in be supporting as has a lot of my co-workers but sometimes time is a real issue! Having been a patient myself several times….you really can tell if a nurse cares!!!

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  • December 13, 2017 at 8:42 am
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    Great article! Especially at this time of the year. Very informative. Thanks for writing it.

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    • December 13, 2017 at 11:46 am
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      Thanks for your comments….REALLY appreciate all who do comment back!!! Yes…thought appropriate for this time of year!!!

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  • December 13, 2017 at 10:04 pm
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    Great read, makes you really think. I wish the world thought like this, it would be a much better place if we all helped each other.

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    • December 14, 2017 at 10:17 am
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      AMEN Gal…….Amen!!!

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