5 Causes of Depression and How They're Killing Your Productivity


5 Causes of Depression and How They're Killing Your Productivity

Depression is one of the leading causes of low productivity at work. Itaffects both body and mind, and some of its effects include irregular sleep habits, loss of appetite, fatigue, and lack of concentration. All these are serious inhibitors of workplace productivity.

According to Hara Estroff Marano, depression costs employers $44 billion a year in lost productive time, versus $13 billion lost from those without depression. It's not that depressed workers are frequently absent. It's just that even when they're there, they're not.

Therefore, employers are always on the lookout for signs of depression in their workers. However, because most employees are quick to deny that they have depression, or at best try to hide it, it becomes very tough for employers to detect until it becomes very apparent.

In all these, being aware of the root causes of depression will help employees themselves to lower the risk.

Here are some of the root causes of depression as explained by psychologists and medical experts.

1. Habits

Negative habits are some of the major causes of depression. The cumulative effects of indulging in these habits often result in serious cases of depression. Habits such as smoking, inadequate sleep, certain prescription drugs, self-imposed isolation, and substance abuse are common causes of depression. In fact, nearly 30% of people with substance abuse problems also have major or clinical depression.

2. Ageing

There are strong indications that older adults are struggling with depression than their younger counterparts. Apart from their vulnerability to certain diseases, lack of sexual appetite and conditions such as low testosterone also cause depression especially in ageing men. Not having an active sex life strains a relationship, and it is this strain that brings about depression most of the time.

3. Health condition

Chronic illnesses such as include diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, or even weight gain, body ache, tiredness and lack of energy are trigger agents for depression. In fact, the stress involved in acting as caregiver for an ailing friend or loved one also leads to depression. Needless to say, poor health kills productivity at work.

4. Grief or trauma

We’ve all experienced grief and trauma at certain periods of our lives. However, living in perpetual grief or trauma makes it easy for depression to creep in. Although, grief and trauma are negative pointers in our lives, they’re quite different. Trauma can be any event that causes psychological, physical, emotional or mental harm; such as a death or abuse, while grief is the response to such loss.

5. Abuse

This list would not be complete without mentioning that abuse is a major cause of depression for many people. Victims of domestic abuse, racial abuse or workplace abuse have admitted having depression as a result of the trauma felt. Their cases are usually worse if they can’t find someone to confide in, or someone who’d console them.


Depression creates a huge setback for the individual. It also takes a heavy toll on all aspects of life including work. However, it can only be effectively treated if the root causes are known. The symptoms displayed by each individual will assist healthcare professionals to employ the appropriate treatment.


Jimmy Rohampton is a freelance writer, blogger and business consultant from Southwest London. He travels the world and helps people master blogging and online marketing at HowToCreateABlog.org. Think you're interesting and he should know you? Say "Hi" to him at Jimmy@HowToCreateABlog.org

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