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

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It’s easy to take our mental health for granted until the day when we find ourselves struggling with anxiety or depression. Either of these alone can be very disruptive to daily life. But when you experience both together it can cause major impairment in functioning. This is especially troubling when your mental health struggles impact your work performance. What should you do when you can’t work due to anxiety and depression?

Learn About Anxiety

Anxiety disorders share the common features of irrational fear and worry. Other symptoms include physical symptoms like trembling, racing heart, nausea, muscle tension, sweating, shortness of breath, headaches, and insomnia. The most common response people have to all types of anxiety disorder is avoidance.

The various types of anxiety disorders include:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Panic disorder.
  • Social anxiety.
  • Specific phobias.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • PTSD

Learn About Depression

According to the DSM-5, depression is present when a cluster of five or more symptoms persists for more than two weeks. The symptoms of depression include:

How Anxiety and Depression Cause Impairment

Both anxiety and depression can be debilitating. This means that these mental health issues can produce such intense symptoms that the person is not able to function. This is true no matter how badly they may want to get up and go to work. They simply can’t work due to anxiety and depression.

Some of the ways that anxiety and depression cause impairment include:

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  • Both disorders can lead to mental burnout. This occurs when depression or anxiety causes intense malaise or total loss of interest at work and home. But it goes both ways. When you feel overwhelmed by a stressful job and/or parenting, it can lead to a work/life imbalance. This can then result in depression or anxiety.
  • Both disorders can cause brain fog. Brain fog is a type of cognitive impairment that can result from both depression and anxiety. Depression can make it difficult to concentrate or make decisions. Anxiety can cause mental fatigue as a result of excessive worry.
  • Social anxiety disrupts careers. Social anxiety is a type of anxiety that features an intense fear of being judged or ridiculed in public. This can hinder careers, as the person avoids any work-related social events, job interviews, or making presentations.
  • Depression saps energy. It is very hard to progress in your career when you have lost all motivation. You may find it difficult to even get out of bed in the morning. Depression hinders your desire to be productive, both at home and at work.

If you find you cannot work due to mental illness, you may be able to obtain Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. You must provide proof of the mental health disorder by first receiving an official diagnosis of mental illness. Also, SSDI does not pay benefits until after the fifth month of disability.

How to Manage Anxiety or Depression Holistically

If your bout with anxiety or depression is recent, you may find that holistic methods can really provide some relief of symptoms. Holistic therapies can be a good first step and may relieve the effects of the mental health challenge. Here are some methods to try:

  • Exercise. Exercise is a natural remedy for both anxiety and depression. Add some daily activities to your routine, such as running, cycling, swimming, or walking. These activities stimulate the production of brain chemicals that help to reduce stress and lift the mood.
  • Meditation. Find a half hour a day for some quiet reflection. Learning how to practice meditation can help you cultivate a calm, peaceful mind state.
  • Yoga. Yoga can have powerful relaxation effects, while also stimulating endorphins to boost mood. Yoga features focused breathing while striking poses, positions, and purposeful movements to calm the mind and tone muscles.
  • Aromatherapy. Essential oils from plants and flowers can help with both depression and anxiety. The best oils for reducing both anxiety and depression are lavender, ylang-ylang, chamomile, rose, and bergamot.
  • Massage therapy. Massage offers many mental health benefits. When the muscles and connective tissues are manipulated by massage, it releases muscle tension and toxins from the body. Not only are you deeply relaxed after a massage, but treating yourself to a massage is an instant mood booster.
  • Mindfulness. When you practice mindfulness you learn how to gain control over ruminating thoughts that keep you feeling distressed. Mindfulness helps to focus your attention on the present moment.
  • Grounding techniques. Grounding yourself with the natural elements and the earth’s natural electrical energy helps reduce stress. Try walking or standing still while barefoot in the sand, on the dirt, or in the grass.

Treatment Solutions for Anxiety and Depression

If holistic methods didn’t alleviate your symptoms, it is time to visit a mental health expert. A therapist will conduct an interview, asking questions about your current mental health and mental health history. The therapist may use assessment tools to further evaluate the state of your anxiety and/or depression. There may also be a review of your medical history and current meds.

All of this data will help the therapist arrive at a diagnosis. From this, they will create a customized treatment plan. Both depression and anxiety are treated using psychotherapy and medication, along with some lifestyle changes.

If your anxiety and depression are moderate to severe, a residential mental health program is the appropriate treatment setting. These inpatient programs provide a more intensive approach to treating mental health conditions.

Elevation Behavioral Health Residential Mental Health Treatment

Elevation Behavioral Health offers a quiet, comforting setting where you can address your mental health challenge. Our compassionate team of expert mental health providers offers treatment and support to help you heal. If you find you can’t work due to anxiety and depression, we can help. Call us today at (888) 561-0868.