Summary: The cases of anxiety and depression in IT workplace is very common, especially when the workers are dealing with stressful work assignments that require timely completion as well as complex work procedures. If you are an IT worker or an IT company owner, it is important for you to acknowledge the possible existence of anxiety and depression in your workplace. Prevention is always better than cure, especially in the case of mental health problems such as this. ADAA is there to help anyone who works around the IT environment to get the necessary treatment to recover from their anxiety and depression.
When you take a simple glance at any IT workplace around you, most of the time the employees are busy doing different things and helping different clients or customers to solve their problems. Whether it is the installation of hardware, software troubleshooting, technical assistance, system maintenance, or any other form of IT-related work, most IT workers need to do various different things that require complex work processes and quick completion time. It can be even busier for them if they are working for a big IT company with big corporate clients.
There is also the case when the workplace has a lack of IT workers in place, especially during the peak time when more workers are needed to handle various IT-related problems. The lack of IT workers will usually force the available staff to work extra hard to meet with the demands of the customers. As a result, they get more workload, which can potentially give them various cases of anxiety and depression during the time they are doing their job. Additionally, the pressures from their superiors in the company can contribute further to the augmentation of this mental health condition, and it might get worse if left untreated.
ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) has been working with millions of people worldwide to prevent and treat their anxiety and depression in the workplace. With more than 1,800 professionals under their belt, this non-profit organization has helped many people to recover from various mental health problems throughout the years. Through their education, training program, and research, millions of people worldwide have managed to treat their anxiety and depression successfully. Their free resources are available for anyone who would like to understand more about their mental health condition. Dr. Stephen Schueller, one of the professional mental health members at ADAA, has been interviewed to provide further information about this non-profit organization as well as the workplace-related anxiety and depression.
The Background of Dr. Stephen Schueller
ADAA hosts thousands of professionals as their official members, which deal with different types of mental health conditions based on their expertise. Their members come from different educational backgrounds and experiences. They have a single goal when it comes to working with ADAA, and their goal is to help others deal with their anxiety and depression in the best possible way.
“First, as a bit of a background for my responses, I’m a clinical psychologist by training and my work focuses on the use of technology to expand access to mental health services. I’m an Assistant Professor of Psychological Science at the University of California, Irvine and Executive Director of PsyberGuide, a Project of One Mind that aims to empower people to make informed choices about digital mental health products through identification, evaluation, and dissemination of information related to these products.
You might also want to check out the One Mind at Work Forbes blog: https://onemind.org/forbes-blog/ as it touches a lot of these topics,” said Dr. Stephen Schueller.
The Common Reason of Anxiety and Depression in the Modern-Day Workplace
The modern-day workplace, although not too different from the regular workplace in the past, brings its own challenges for the workers. In the past where communications were limited, an average worker can come to the workplace at 9AM and go back home at 5PM. While at home, they won’t be bothered with any notifications from their mobile phones related to their work, and they can resume their work as usual the next day.
However, in the modern workplace where ways of communication are in abundant, such as emails, instant messages, social media, and so on, a worker might be forced to work all the time, even during their time at home. Anyone from the company can send him an email and ask him to check out their work, responding to clients, and so on. This is one reason that might add more anxiety and depression in the workplace.
Dr. Stephen Schueller stated, “There are definitely some changes to the modern workplace that can increase stress and exacerbate depression and anxiety. The increase in email and other digital forms of communication that makes it hard for people to be “off” work or to increase the feeling that one always has to be working, responding, available. By the same token, I think it’s worth noting that rates of depression and anxiety aren’t rising, so changes in the workplace aren’t causing more depression and anxiety and instead I think it’s worth thinking about what goes on at work that might be triggering or exacerbating depression and anxiety.”
The Possibility for an Employee to Resolve Their Stress-Related Issues from the Beginning
As an employee working for a company, especially with a busy schedule, you might be able to recognize the stress-related issues that are happening in the workplace. Then, you might be able to take the matter seriously and start working on resolving the issues by yourself. However, it is always the employer that has a bigger responsibility to ensure that the mental health of their employees are kept in a healthy level. Of course, the employer shouldn’t also add to the problem even more by increasing the pressure in the workplace unnecessarily.
As Dr. Schueller said, “I think the onus is more on employers to take mental health in the workplace seriously. An employee might be able to recognize if they have an issue and seek the appropriate help, especially if there are mental health programs made available by their employer or through their insurance but culture comes from the drop.”
How Employers Can Prevent Anxiety and Depression in the Workplace
The overall mental health of the employees is related strongly with the productivity of the company. So, employers should give more priority to ensure that their employees and staff have a healthy mental condition. The leaders in the workplace should also ensure that their coworkers are having a good time working at the company, instead of being depressed with the work that they need to do. Regular checks are also needed to ensure that each employee has a good mental health condition that can contribute to their productivity.
“Take mental health in the workplace seriously, this includes providing a positive space where mental health is prioritized. Training leaders to take mental health into consideration in their management and leadership styles. Regularly collecting information about how people are doing and making meaningful changes if problems in the workplace are identified. Providing positive role models to support mental health,” said Dr. Schueller when asked on how employers can prevent anxiety and depression in the workplace.
The Relation between Gender and Workplace Anxiety and Depression
According to the study reports, the people who are more prone to the workplace-related anxiety and depression are women. So, gender does matter when we see the difference in the number of people from different genders who suffer from this type of stress-related issues. It might be caused by the fact that women face more challenges than men in the workplace, giving them more pressures and stress during the time that they spend in the company.
Dr. Stephen Schueller explained, “We see gender differences in rates of anxiety and depression (higher rates in women) and women definitely face challenges in the workplace. Probably again, it’s about workplace stress exacerbating issues we see elsewhere.”
Dr. Schueller’s Involvement with ADAA
Dr. Stephen Schueller has been involved with ADAA mainly as the Executive Director of PsyberGuide, which helps to review the various mental health apps that are to be featured on the official ADAA website. When explaining his involvement with ADAA, Dr. Schueller said, “ADAA and PsyberGuide have a partnership where PG helps reviews apps that are then placed on the ADAA website: https://adaa.org/resources-professionals/mental-health-apps.”