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What to Do When You Can’t Work Due to Anxiety and Depression 

The terms anxiety and depression get thrown around so much that we don’t often focus on the seriousness of these mental health conditions – especially when they are experienced together. Both anxiety and depression are very real mental health disorders that can be incredibly disruptive to daily life. So, it is no surprise that they can interfere with work performance – to the point where you can’t work due to anxiety and depression.  

Is this something you struggle with? What should you do when you can’t work due to anxiety and depression?  


Understanding Anxiety 

Simply put, anxiety is a sense of nervousness, worry, and unease over an irrational fear. Despite there being no real threat, the body and mind are responding as if it is in serious danger. It is a fear and a worry about what is going to come – even though there is no real possibility that it will come at all.  

Everyone at some point will get anxious and maybe even experience a bit of anxiety due to the stress of a certain situation, such as flying, giving a speech/performance, waiting on test results from the doctor, the first day of a new job, etc. These instances are moments of anxiety but are quite different than having an anxiety disorder.  

When these anxious thoughts become excessive, lasting at least 6 months, and interfering with your daily life, they may be considered an anxiety disorder. Within this, anxiety attacks or panic attacks are sudden intense fear with feelings that can mimic a heart attack. These can be scary – but usually dissipate in 15 to 20 minutes or so.  

There are many different signs of anxiety, though it is important to understand that it can impact each individual in different ways. A few of the most common signs include:  

  • Irritability 
  • Racing heart 
  • Trembling 
  • Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath 
  • Sweating 
  • Headaches 
  • Insomnia 
  • Difficulty concentrating/focusing 

Common types of anxiety disorders include:  

  • Generalized anxiety disorder 
  • PTSD 
  • Phobia 
  • Panic disorder 
  • Social anxiety 


Understanding Depression 

Millions of people are held by the grip of depression every single day. It is more than just having a bad day – or a bad week. Depression can last for as little as a few weeks or it can last for years. It is feelings of sadness and hopelessness, but it is also so much more than that.  

 Like anxiety, signs of depression will vary from person to person:  

  • Loss of joy in things once enjoyed 
  • Weight gain/loss from eating too much/too little 
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia 
  • Fatigue 
  • Feelings of sadness and hopelessness 
  • Easily aggravated 
  • Inability to concentrate or remember things 
  • Headaches 
  • Stomach ache/nausea 
  • Sexual dysfunction 
  • Feelings of guilt/shame 
  • Thoughts of death/suicide 

It is not uncommon for substance abuse issues to appear comorbidly with depression due to an attempt to numb feelings – or make them more tolerable.  

Clinically, there are different types of depression, such as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Postpartum Depression (PPD), Psychotic Depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and Manic Depression as part of bipolar disorder.  


How Anxiety and Depression Can Disrupt Work 

At work, you have a job to do. You need to focus on each task and, in most places, handle multi-tasking with ease. However, when your mind is bogged down with thoughts and fears or you are moving in slow motion due to the weight of depression, getting through a workday can seem next to impossible, and you may reach a point where you can’t work due to anxiety and depression.  

Brain fog and the inability to concentrate are brought on by both anxiety and depression. This makes it hard to get through the day. Not to mention that you are mentally fried, plagued by stress and feelings of being overwhelmed.  

Combine all of this with the lack of energy – and will – to get moving and you are likely feeling very debilitated.  

The good news is that things don’t have to stay this way. Let’s take a look at what can be done when you can’t work due to anxiety and depression.  


Learning to Manage Anxiety and Depression 

If you can’t work due to anxiety and depression, then it is time to take a stand. Learn things that you can do both at work – and outside of work – to help you successfully get through your daily responsibilities.


Practice Mindfulness

It is easy to get overwhelmed and stressed while at work. When you stay in the present moment, you can stop any ruminating thoughts and decrease your stress levels.  

Exercise Regularly

Daily exercise can release feel-good endorphins, reducing your stress and improving your mood. It can be as simple as taking a walk or going for a run.  

Massage Therapy

Relieving your body of muscle tension and getting rid of the toxins that have been stored in your tissue can feel so refreshing. This can also reduce stress and elevate your mood.  

Practice Meditation

You can meditate in as little as 3 minutes – and something you can do while at work. Close your eyes, clear your mind, and take deep breaths. Maybe even install a meditation app on your phone to help guide you through the process.  


If possible, use essential oils to lift your mood and ease your mind. Depending on your work, this could be done through a diffuser – or can be placed on certain areas of the body, such as the inside wrist. Chamomile, lavender, rosemary, sweet orange, and rose are all great for anxiety and depression. 

Seek Treatment

Getting to the root cause of anxiety and depression can give you the greatest chance of overcoming them. This is why it is so important to seek help from professionals who will help you with overall wellness and healing. Add this treatment to your tools for managing anxiety and depression.  


Can’t Work Due to Anxiety and Depression?  

Anxiety and depression can have a negative impact on your ability to get through a workday – and even maintain employment. But, it doesn’t have to.  

At Amend Treatment, we offer many different modalities of treatment that can be personalized to fit your needs.  

To find out more about what we offer – and how we can help make your workday brighter when you can’t work due to anxiety and depression – contact us today.  

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