I’ll go straight to the point. I’m someone who is diagnosed with a clinical depression. While I don’t want to go into details on my illness, I do identify my need to seek help.
I lost my job a year ago due to my depression. My boss and coworkers think that I am a liability to the company because my frequent need to go for therapy as well as my absence from work when I can’t cope with the stress of stepping out of my house. I really hate myself for having this illness but I know it can’t be helped. It would help if the people around me can show a little bit of understanding.
My current job (which I got it from a friend who is not aware of my depression) is a blessing. The workplace is just a few streets away and on a good day, I can walk to work easily. It makes my anxiety much more manageable since I know I’m just a few minutes away from home. However, since I have started the new job, I stopped my therapy sessions. I couldn’t explain my need for regular time away from my work.
I thought I’ll be alright without therapy and just rely on my meds. But last month, my anxiety attacks came back with a vengeance. I blacked out twice at home, both times I was lucky to have someone else with me who knows what to do. Now I constantly living on tiptoes, worrying that I will have the same thing while at work. It sure didn’t help that my colleagues kept asking why I am so jittery for the past one month.
Due to my experience at my last job, I really don’t want to be honest and come clean anymore. I was totally honest and open with my last employer, only to be judged and ridiculed at times, passed over promotions and even labeled as irresponsible once. I truly felt I was at last free from my illness when I hide it and pretend to be a normal person. You see, even pretending to be normal for 8 hours for me is a relief. Now the farce is soon to be tore down and reveal that I’m a liar and a weakling.
I really don’t know what to do. The thought of quitting my job has come across my mind a few times. Anything better than confrontation, right? Please help.
Big hugs. I can’t tell you how I understand what you are going through because I can’t put myself in your shoes. But I can definitely say that your ex-boss and coworkers are selfish and narrow-minded for judging you based on your illness and not on your work itself.
Companies can do a lot more to help to integrate these individuals into their workplace. Whether it is educating the entire workplace on depression or introducing flexi-scheme such as allowing the individual to replace one hour time off with another extra hour worked on a different day and work from home when the individual is unable to get out of their homes. Everything is possible if only, like you said, shown understanding towards your condition.
While I understand that your bad experience with your previous boss has to lead you not wanting to open up to your current boss, it is still a good thing to try to have a chat with him or her. Instead of taking time away, how about asking if you can arrange your work schedule so that you can come in early and leave early, vice versa. Or even offer to make up your missing hours by working on Saturday?
Instead of avoiding the inevitable, try to have a talk with your supervisor to show that you are genuinely wanting to be a contributor to the company and not a liability. When you actively display that you are going to make this work and not hide behind your illness or using your depression as an excuse for nonperformance, people will appreciate your efforts and even applaud your bravery. Quitting your job equates to running away. Eventually, you’ll still face the same issue when you land a new job.
You hate being judged. So don’t judge that your new boss and coworkers will despise you before you open up to them. And should anyone judges you because of your condition, it’s on them, not you.
Best of luck and do drop an email to let me know how it goes.
Looking for career advice to help you advance? Write to me at Kally@MiddleMe.net or these past bits of advice may help you:
A Word Of Advice: I’m Scare Jobless
A Word of Advice: Don’t be Scare of Change
A Word of Advice: Blackmail!