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Re: Depression in the workplace

Posted by JohnL on November 7, 1999, at 6:55:15

In reply to Depression in the workplace, posted by Jen on November 7, 1999, at 4:48:13

> ...This is seriously
> frustrating...
> Thanks for listening.
> Jen

Hi Jen. Boy that's no joke! I once had a real legitimate physical workplace injury that required a cast, months of therapy, and eventual withdrawal from the job due to inability to return to it due to reaggravating the injury. Enormous workplace discrimination and stigma. And that was a legitimate injury.

Mental illness is so poorly understood by those blessed ones who have never experienced it. Some people find workplace support. Others find workplace stigmatization. Personally I've only seen inferior stigmas attached to folks with mental illness at work. That's why I keep mine private. Even if I found my coworkers supportive (I'll never know cause I'm not gonna risk it), if/when the economy gets bad and people get laid-off, workers with known 'weaknesses' will likely be at the top of the chop list. Not that it's a weakness, but it is SEEn as being one from many outsiders.

I've been in your husband's shoes. It was bad. Real bad. From my own experience I think staying home is the worst thing to do. Beginning medication immediately and staying connected with society is best in my opinion. It's 'nearly' impossible to get out bed. But not impossible. It's torture to get in the car to go to work. But possible. It's a nightmare to walk through that front door at work and face the day. Especially when you're harboring secret pain and suffering. But not impossible.

Different people will have different views on how to handle it. But if I could go back and do it all over again, I wouldn't share my problem with anyone at work. Especially the boss. I would plow through each hour of each day as best as possible, focusing on what's right in front of me at the moment and blocking out everything else. Sticking to basics. Withdrawn but mildly productive. And as long as medication is involved, there is all the reason in the world to know that these nightmarish days will begin to subside in about 2 weeks. There is an end in sight, and with medication it's just around the corner.

If everyone at work already knows, then I would begin acting (faking) like the whole thing was just a temporary fluke and put an end to it. That is accomplished by showing up at work and doing one's job. Just the basics. Survival. Get by. It's about the hardest thing I've ever done, so believe me I understand. But to me workplace discrimination is harder. I can't afford to lose my paycheck. At least now I'm just depressed. I would rather be employed and depressed than unemployed and depressed. Now THAT would be stress! Can you gather up every ounce of energy and get back to work? And is there medication involved? With medication, everything will get better in a couple weeks. There is an end in sight. Without medication, there is no end in sight. Could go on for a long time. I truly don't think time off and rest is going to do any good at all. Will even make the whole situation worse. Will only delay. Prescription and back to work. No delay. I know it sounds tough, but like I said, I've been there exactly. Just my own experience. If the doc hasn't prescribed medication yet, I think he is being WAY too conservative here. This requires aggressive prompt serious intervention. I know of no one who can afford to take 2 or 4 weeks off of work. If no prescription yet, I would go back to the doc immediatley. I don't mean to sound pro-medicine. It's just that rest doesn't often help much. It provides temporary retrieve but only delays the inevitable worsening. I'm just rambling from my own personal experiences, but I hope some of it is helpful to you.




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