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The Moody Blues

Depressed workers bring the whole company down, so get them the help they need.

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This story appears in the April 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Entrepreneurs who run bars, restaurants and child-care or elder-care businesses have a new worry: . Their employees are more likely than those in other fields to get depressed enough to hurt productivity, boost absenteeism and deflate morale, according to a 2007 government study. And we're not talking about a bluesy afternoon: A major depressive episode, as the 2007 "National Survey on Drug Use and " defines it, lasts two weeks or longer and involves a depressed mood, a general lack of interest and possible problems with sleep, eating, concentration and productivity. The annual cost to U.S. companies is $30 billion to $44 billion, according to the study.

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