In the past, anything related to mental health or emotional conditions was considered taboo. Today, though, conversations about mental health conditions are not only common—they are encouraged. And when you consider that more than 970 million people have some kind of mental health condition worldwide, it is not difficult to understand why these conversations are so important.
In the workplace, learning about and recognizing the most commonly diagnosed conditions is crucial. Not only does it help HR employees to understand how team members might be dealing with these obstacles, but it will allow your company to take the necessary steps to provide much-needed resources. The following guide highlights a few of these conditions and how they might manifest in the workplace.
What Are the Most Common Mental Health Conditions?
Attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are two of the most commonly diagnosed conditions worldwide. In fact, a 2016 study determined that over 218 million adults worldwide are affected. ADD/ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts a person’s ability to focus, and it is most often tied to decreased or poor performance at work.
Common symptoms include an inability to sit still or constant fidgeting, excessive talking, persistent interrupting of conversations, impulsive behavior, a tendency to make careless mistakes, difficulty adhering to deadlines, regularly losing belongings, having trouble following directions, and poor organizational or time-management skills.
Luckily, treating ADD/ADHD is very manageable. Providing employees with access to qualified medical professionals will allow them to receive prescriptions to help maintain focus. If they prefer to go without medication, meeting with a therapist regularly could provide them with the coping skills needed to manage their symptoms. Exercise has also been proven to be one of the most effective resources in combating ADD/ADHD.
In the workplace, HR workers can help employees by limiting distractions and providing access to resources that minimize triggers. For example, if an employee has a difficult time sitting still, providing them with a standing desk could alleviate their fidgeting. You might also consider creating designated “quiet spaces that allow employees to go somewhere with minimal distractions.
Anxiety is a broad term used to describe numerous conditions, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. As a whole, more than 264 million individuals worldwide are impacted by one or more of these conditions.
Anxiety typically affects a person’s emotional health and may manifest through increased irritability, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, irrational thoughts or behaviors, excessive fear or worry, disruptive or intrusive thoughts, restlessness, and nausea.
An employee might be struggling with one of these conditions if they regularly call out of work before a big project or presentation is due, ask an excessive amount of questions, seem unreasonably irritable, or have difficulty completing tasks.
Much like ADD/ADHD, anxiety can be treated with psychotherapy and medication. Meditation has also been proven to be highly effective at alleviating or preventing an anxious episode, so consider providing employees with resources for mental health programs. It is also important that employees get adequate rest, as lack of sleep is known to exacerbate anxiety symptoms.
Roughly 264 million individuals have active depression diagnoses worldwide. This condition primarily impacts a person’s mood, leading to either on-going or periodic episodes of feelings of despair, hopelessness, and sadness.
Common symptoms include a loss of interest, feelings of apathy, difficulty concentrating, excessive irritability, fatigue, unexpected mood swings, difficulty sleeping, general discontent, and unexpected weight gain or loss. At work, this might manifest as employees struggling to complete everyday tasks, excessive sick days, difficulty working with other team members, decreased work quality, and unexpected emotional outbursts.
Along with medication and psychotherapy, maintaining a healthy diet could help your employees decrease their risk of depression episodes. Studies have shown that a diet rich in whole grains, fruit, vegetables, fish, and low-fat dairy was linked to a decreased risk of depression, so consider providing your employees with access to nutritional resources.
Managing a mental health condition can be difficult, but when your employees have access to the right physical and mental health resources, they stand the best chance of thriving. If you want to help your team members better manage their mental health conditions, consider teaming up with us at Gympass. We offer an extensive range of educational programs, as well as access to health professionals, meditation programs, and exercise classes.