Last Updated: February 18, 2021

Definition - What does Depression mean?

Depression, within the context of occupational health and safety, is a chronic mental disorder in which a patient suffers a pervasive low mood along with low self-esteem and loss of interest in normal enjoyable activities. Clinical depression, or major depression, is referred to as a prolonged condition of a low mood attitude, which can affect a patient's social life, family, work, sleep, eating habits, and general health. In occupational health and safety, depression is a main cause of absenteeism and lost productivity in employees. Depression can also be referred to as unipolar depression or major depressive disorder. There are also other forms of depression but they differ clinically.

WorkplaceTesting explains Depression

Depression normally affects patients in their first working years and can become chronic if not treated by professionals. Depression can affect a person's ability to retain or find a meaningful employment. Most employees can overcome clinical depression if their condition is recognized at an early stage, intervention is obtained, and recovery is supported.

Symptoms of depression include but are not limited to:

  • Sad, anxious mood
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Lost of interest in everyday activities
  • Irritability and restlessness
  • Physical symptoms that don't improve with appropriate treatments (headaches, pain, digestive disorder)
  • Difficulty in decision making or concentrating
  • Fatigue or energy loss
  • Feeling of guilt, hopelessness or worthlessness
  • Thoughts of suicide or death
This definition was written in the context of Occupational Health and Safety
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