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Old December 15th, 2017, 04:43 AM
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Depressed coworker

Someone I work with appears to be going through a major depressive episode. It's an anniversary of a big loss, her friends are suffering with major illness, and her family is not supportive at all. On top of that, work stinks for her.

She's been crying at work. I've suggested she see a counselor. She hasn't.

Someone else I'm friendly with said she bumped into her Christmas shopping. As soon as she said, "Hey! How are you?" the coworker started to cry. She is also concerned.

Depression can be dangerous. She has the big 3 that contribute to depression: Isolation, complicated bereavement, and workplace anxiety.

Here is where I am stuck. I do NOT want to get involved. I don't want to be her friend. I want to go to work, do my job, and go home. And I've already told her to get counseling.

But, is that enough? Am I supposed to do more?
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Old December 15th, 2017, 06:17 AM
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Re: Depressed coworker

She sounds like she's in a really tough spot. If I were in the same situation as you I might consider handling it like this...

From what I have gathered from your past posts about your relationships on the job, you seem to have earned respect from the people there and you seem to be "solid" in your self confidence and I am sure the people you work with have sensed that. You don't have to be her friend to lend a listening ear or to offer a kind or compassionate word. You don't have to take her to lunch and you don't have to offer. However, if she offers and you refuse that rejection will probably send her back into the hole again (sorry, I'm just thinking of a possibility ahead of time).

What I'm saying is: Just be nice. You don't have to pry or ask or really do anything other than just be nice. If she opens up, let her talk. You don't need to offer solutions. Sometimes people just need someone to hear them.

Being nice can go a long way.
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Old December 16th, 2017, 12:46 AM
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Re: Depressed coworker

I think it's enough. You didn't break her, you can't fix her.

The only additional things you can do are (1) tell her that she seems to be going through a depressive episode, you understand why she would be, and she REALLY needs to get help and (2) give her some kind of self-help book that might provide her with direction to work through some of the issues she is having (a grief resource or something?).

And don't make excuses for her. If people make it easier for her to get by without addressing her depression, they are enabling her.
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Old December 16th, 2017, 05:53 AM
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Re: Depressed coworker

Good advice from both of you. Thanks!
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