Today’s society seems to have an obsession with personal productivity — sometimes to the point of forgoing rest, relaxation, and recreation altogether — but it’s important to remember that you are much more than just a cog in a machine.

Don’t get us wrong, productivity is good, but being a workaholic can negatively impact your mental health and the mental health of those around you. If you frequently find yourself chasing the impossible standard of being the perfect employee and often putting relaxation and downtime on the back burner, there’s a possibility that you may be suffering from a form of depression without even realizing it.

Such behavior is sometimes a result of a disorder known as high-functioning depression, though it can also be referred to as “toxic productivity.” Courtesy of TMS Center of Lehigh Valley, here are four signs that you may be experiencing this surprisingly common issue.

You Work to Avoid Your Problems

In modern society, hard work is often seen as a virtue. While this is fine and not problematic in and of itself, sometimes endless hard work can be used as a way to avoid tackling serious problems in our personal lives or addressing feelings we are uncomfortable with facing directly.

While work can come with many short-term goals as well as clear and predictable rewards for accomplishments, the benefits of focusing on interpersonal relationships and self-care can be much more subtle.

For some, the familiarity of our careers can act as a crutch, allowing us to bury our concerns in busywork rather than put in the mental and emotional labor of improving other aspects of our lives, especially if those aspects are less predictable and more difficult to control.

If you feel that this sounds like you, there is a chance you may be suffering from high-functioning depression.

You Always Feel “On”

One of the most common signs of toxic productivity is always feeling “on,” as if you are giving a performance in the hopes of coming across as the ideal employee, spouse, friend, or relative. Sometimes, this is coupled with going out of your way to please others rather than taking time for yourself.

Whether you find yourself constantly checking emails during non-work hours, answering non-urgent communications from coworkers or bosses late into the night, or being a chatterbox to mere acquaintances in an attempt to make others like you more, toxic productivity can come in many forms.

This has been especially true throughout the course of the ongoing global pandemic, when the lines between personal time and social and work time have been becoming more and more blurred. Over time, this can lead to extreme burnout, which is unhealthy both mentally and physically.

You Base Your Sense of Worth on Work

Your personal sense of worth and pride should come from many different aspects of your life. Our relationships, interests, talents, and hobbies are all things to be proud of, our career is just one small aspect of our lives.

If you often find yourself measuring your worth based on the amount of work you do or the vigor with which you do it, this may be a sign of high-functioning depression.

During times of uncertainty, it can be easy to think excelling at work should be your only focus, but it is extremely crucial to make time to cultivate and explore other passions, hobbies, relationships, and interests that can promote a more well-rounded work-life balance.

You’ve Been Neglecting Other Areas of Your Life

Despite what society may lead you to believe, the bottom line is: work is not everything. Our family, friends, and personal interests can and should continue to be incredibly important aspects of our lives, especially as we ride out the remainder of the COVID-19 crisis.

The pressure to perform at work is especially high right now, with many spending nights lying awake worrying about job security and the uncertainty of the world. It is because of this, not in spite of it, that we remember not to neglect the people and things we care about.

Not only can spending quality time with yourself and others strengthen our relationships, but it can also allow us to take a break to recharge our batteries following the non-stop grind of work.

Sometimes, we understand the importance of helpful advice, but we still have difficulty staying on the path to good mental health on our own. That’s why treatment options like TMS therapy can be especially important. TMS therapy is a scientifically-backed, safe, and effective treatment for mental health conditions like chronic stress and depression.

TMS Center of Lehigh Valley, is the region’s first depression treatment center offering FDA approved, non-drug, non-invasive transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment for patients who suffer from mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.

Our dedicated staff is made up of tireless advocates who, with our expertise and compassion, help people struggling with depression conquer their disease and get their smiles back. To learn more about what we do or how we can help, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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