The majority of working women with depression believe that depression is the number one barrier to women’s success in the workplace, according to an Oct 23, 2003, news release from Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Women surveyed reported having various depression-related behaviors that affect their work, including leaving work early, not returning from lunch, avoiding contact with coworkers, and being unable to face work.
Treatment for depression can be beneficial. Of those women surveyed, 94% noticed improvement after seeking treatment for depression, such as psychotherapy or medication. Those surveyed reported that medication produced the greatest benefit; 96% who took medication reported work improvement.
Of those surveyed, only 47% with depression immediately sought treatment. When those who did not seek treatment were asked why, a variety of reasons emerged. These included not knowing where to go for help, work-related time constraints, concern that insurance would not cover the cost, concern that they might lose their jobs, the stigma of depression, or believing that depression is a sign of weakness or a character flaw.
Left untreated, depression can have a substantial effect on women’s work environments. In examining hindrances to achieving professional success, women surveyed rated depression higher than child and elder care responsibilities, pregnancy, and sexual harassment. Of those who lost their jobs while suffering depression, 89% attributed the cause of job toss to depression. Approximately one-third said depression completely interfered with their abilities to do their jobs.
Approximately 19 million American adults suffer from depression each year, including five million working women. Depression interferes with the ability to work, sleep, eat, study, and enjoy activities. Symptoms may be emotional (eg, restlessness) or physical (eg, headache, vague aches and pains).
This survey was sponsored by the American Medical Women’s Association and the National Mental Health Association. It was funded by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Telephone interviews were conducted in April and May 2003 with 751 employed women 18 years of age or older who were suffering from depression.
Surveyed Women With Depression Perceive Condition as a Leading Barrier to Workplace Success (news release, New York: Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Oct 23, 2003) Source: http://www.prnewswire.com
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