Addiction, Anxiety and Depression in the Workplace, the Bottom Line Killers!

Could your company benefit from lower rates of absenteeism and turnover? What about increased productivity and profitability? Employees, who are addicted, depressed or anxious, work less, produce less and cost more! On the other hand, employees, who are motivated, empowered, engaged and happy, work more, produce more and cost less! The Department of Health and Human Services reports that addiction costs businesses $197 billion annually. Substance abuse is having a profoundly negative affect on the workplace in terms of decreased productivity, absenteeism, turnover, and medical costs. Alcoholism, alone, is responsible for 500 million lost workdays each year! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, depression is responsible for an additional 200 million lost workdays each year at a cost to employers of $17 to $44 billion. The Stanford School of Medicine, ranks anxiety in the workplace together with depression as one of the most costly and detrimental health risks among employees. Plain and simple, addiction, anxiety and depression are bottom line killers! While everyone else on the planet is talking about how to manage addiction, anxiety and depression with workplace drug testing, treatment, counseling

and wellness programs, I’ve been talking about how to avoid them. They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to arming employees with the necessary skills to avoid addiction, anxiety and depression, prevention is worth a whole lot of black ink on the balance sheet! As a life coach, author and speaker, who specializes in addiction freedom, I understand the foundation for addiction. However, I’ve also come to discover that anxiety, depression and emotional distress are the precursors and primary drivers of addictive behavior. Consequently, employees who are stressed, anxious and depressed are far more likely to step into the pitfall of addiction. Sure, you can try and close the barn door after the horses run out as mainstream theory advocates, but I’m suggesting that you take a more proactive approach. For the most part, addiction, anxiety and depression are both misunderstood and misrepresented. They are not diseases or medical conditions. They are emotional in nature. Therefore, they can be overcome and/or prevented. For example, anxiety is a state of nervousness or agitation caused by the concern, worry, dread or fear commonly associated with future based, negative thinking. And, without understanding the power of human mind, millions of people who fall prey to anxiety also, unknowingly, perpetuate it. For most, the subconscious mind creates, by default, external environments or realities based on thought and self-image. So, it should come as no surprise that folk’s neck deep in anxiety usually create circumstances that breed more worry and angst! The real solution to anxiety, however, comes in learning to create positive outcomes with intent. Of course, that perspective starkly contrasts conventional thinking, doesn’t it? Depending on the severity, generalized anxiety disorder is traditionally treated with psychoactive medication, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or relaxation and breathing techniques. The first does nothing more than mask the problem and kick the can down the road. The second, in my opinion, manages the symptoms and fails to correct the core issues. And, as far as the third solution goes; trying to relax or breathe deeply while having a panic attack is like trying to extinguish a bonfire with ice cubes! Obviously, human beings are the highest form of life on the scale of consciousness. Along with free will and thinking, though, come many challenges! Among them is learning to trust the flow of life and one’s

ability to direct it. Anxiety, in contrast, is the inability to trust that flow or ability. If we can take pause and step down from our lofty pedestal for just a few nano-moments, however, we may be able to learn a thing or two from our friends at the lower end of the scale. Wild creatures act instinctively whereas human beings tend to veer away from instinct and intuition. Ponder this; have you ever looked out your kitchen window and witnessed a sparrow or chickadee having a panic attack, breaking out in a cold sweat, nervously chewing its little talons, or lighting up a cigarette as a result of worrying about where it’s next seed will come from? I haven’t! They always seem to find it, don’t they? In summary, overcoming and preventing anxiety requires a change in mindset and vision from “there’s nothing I can do about the future” to “I can create a better future because I have a plan!” And, yes, ultimately, it requires taking the required action to implement that plan and manifest the vision. On a more immediate level, though, dowsing the flame of an anxiety attack requires a change in conscious thinking. You either attack the anxiety or it attacks you. If you run, it will hunt you down and swallow you whole. If you look it straight in the eye and go after it, the anxiety and/or panic will dissipate! Regards, David Roppo Life Coach - Author - Speaker How to overcome addiction Help for addiction

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