Depression & Finances

 According to the National Alliance to Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 out of every 5 adults experience a mental illness each year. Studies have shown that indebtedness has been linked to depression, so it’s important to become familiar with signs and symptoms as early detection can be crucial in acquiring proper treatment and preventing recurrence.

Definition & Symptoms

The DSM-5-TR defines major depressive disorder as 5 or more of the following symptoms within a 2 week period and at least one of the symptoms is:

  1. Depressed mood
  2. Loss of interest or pleasure

Here’s a list of the rest of the symptoms:

  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly everyday.
  • Psychomotor agitation  (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
  • Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day.
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
  • Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.

Work accommodations 

Depression is the leading cause of disability, but work accommodations can be implemented, so you don’t have to miss work. If you discover you have depression, you are entitled to reasonable work accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities  Act (ADA). Examine your work environment and what your specific needs are then seek accommodations to help you succeed in the workplace.

Per Job Accommodation Network, JAN, here are the most common accommodations for depression:


  • Flexible Schedule
  • Work from Home
  • Additional Training Time
  • Marginal Functions
  • Modified Break Schedule
  • Periodic Rest Breaks
  • Service Animal


  • Apps for Anxiety and Stress
  •  Behavior Modification Techniques
  • Counseling/Therapy
  • Job coaches
  • Rob Restructuring
  • On-site Mentoring
  • Support Person
  • Uninterrupted Work Time

Requesting Accommodations

If you feel uncomfortable requesting accommodations, please read How to Ask for Reasonable Accommodations at the Workplace for guidance.

Here’s a video on asking for reasonable accommodations.

If you would like to speak to someone at JAN, below is their information:

Voice: 800-526-7234

TTY:   877-781-9403

Seeking Help

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) can provide free referrals.  They are open 24/7, 365 days a year.

Call: (800) 662-Help (4357).  

Visit:  SAMHSA’s National online treatment locator

Text: Your zip code to 435748

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please contact 988 for help. The calls are free, confidential, and they are open 24/7 to help you navigate difficult emotions. 

Attend a Workshop

If you are interested in attending a live webinar on improving your relationship with your finances, please visit my events.

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