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15 Signs of Depression at Work

15 Signs of Depression at Work

When someone commits suicide they are indescribably distraught and filled with pain. Suicide, a method of death nobody wants to talk about, becomes the victim’s tragic version of a pain reliever. Severe depression is the silent assassin of an employee’s life. Depression also severely impacts employee productivity.

“Sometimes, what a person needs is not a brilliant mind that speaks, but a patient heart that listens.” -Unknown

Your employee leaves one evening and never returns. You didn’t see the signs of depression. As a leader, maybe you could have been personally supportive rather than expecting only results without concern for his well-being.  Show care and concern for those you work with every day. Pause and think if you have noticed a change in their behavior.

15 Signs of Depression at Work

#1 Lower productivity

#2  Lower morale

#3 Problems with cooperation

#4 Takes safety risks or has an accident

#5 Starts missing work

#6 Talks about aches and pains

#7 Appears to be routinely tired

#8 Excessive crying

#9 Alcohol and drug abuse

#10 Sudden loss or weight gain

#11 Sad or empty mood

#12 Difficulty concentrating, becomes forgetful

#13 Pessimistic

#14 Irritable or persistently agitated

#15 Talks about or passively mentions suicide

When you see a combination of these signs it would be better to privately tell them you care for them as a person and ask if there is anything you can do to help them. You do not have to be a medical professional to be concerned about a coworker’s health. Diagnosis and treatment, however, should be left to a professional.

Your human resource team should be able to help with a referral to a mental health provider, employee assistance plan or a caring community service program that can be helpful, respectful and accommodating.


Kevin Kennemer is founder of The People Group based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kevin is driven by his passion for company owners and their need to earn a profit, employees' desire for a positive and fulfilling work experience, and the community that benefits when both groups do well.


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