How do workplace conditions affect mental health?

As with any significant part of life, the workplace can have a direct effect on our mental health. The workplace, for one, is a key part of our identities and can be the place where we have the most social interaction with others. Workplaces can also be busy and demanding environments that ask a lot of us physically and mentally. Finally, given the complex dynamics between co-workers, workplaces can be minefields for interpersonal conflict.

Anyone experiencing a stressful workplace environment may have related mental health issues. As with all mental health disorders, workplace-related conditions require compassionate intervention from a mental health professional. A psychotherapist or psychiatrist can help a patient with a work-related mental health issue find a way to healing.

What are the most common mental health issues caused by workplace conditions?

By far the most common disorders associated with workplace conditions are depression and anxiety. These mental health issues can result from any number of factors in the workplace, including but not limited to:

  • insufficient health and wellness policies;
  • faulty communication;
  • poor management;
  • not having enough say or autonomy;
  • a disregard for employees by upper management;
  • long or unreasonable working hours; and
  • unclear objectives.

Individuals can also develop stress, anxiety or depression as a result of their interpersonal relationships at work. Bullying or harassment by co-workers or management can cause these conditions, as can a highly competitive environment. Workplaces that enable or do not regulate any of these triggers often have higher rates of absenteeism and alcoholism. A positive workplace should focus instead on engendering an atmosphere of support that considers at all times the health and wellness of employees.

How therapists & psychiatrists can help workplace related mental health conditions

If you are experiencing a mental health condition as a result of your workplace environment, you can benefit from working with a therapist or psychiatrist. These mental health professionals can use therapy, medication, and even lifestyle adjustments to engender positive change in your overall mental wellness.

Talk therapies such as CBT can be helpful for those with mental health issues related to work. This practice can help you identify triggers in the workplace and develop better coping mechanisms. Medication can supplement talk therapy, too, and help to alleviate the anxiety and depression that can result from stressful work environments.

Finally, your mental health specialist may recommend that you make lifestyle changes to aid in healing. These can include a wide range of things, including getting more exercise or meditation. In cases where the workplace situation is extreme, changing jobs may even be required. Whatever treatment approach a mental health professional will take in treating your work-related mental health condition will be tailored to your specific needs.