Boss wants to talk about why I haven't been in the office that much these past few months and why my work is not up to par. I've been struggling with depression. How can I talk to him about this?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (28 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I work in a very small group at a university. Culture is very relaxed, and we rarely go through HR about anything. Boss is nice and seems to care about employees, but I would not consider us friends (more like mentor).
When I started, my boss was very happy with my work (and this is probably why he put up with my current state for so long). However, during this recent depressive episode, I've been going into work later and later, and taking longer and longer breaks. This wouldn't be a serious problem if my work was up to par, but it's not. My progress has been slow, and I've been avoiding or postponing one-on-one meetings due to this.
So basically, for the past few months, I've just been exhausted, unmotivated, and can't concentrate. I get to work late because it's difficult to get out of bed, until it became a habit and I stopped caring. I get to work and stare at my computer, feeling completely useless for a few hours. Thinking that I need to get my energy up, I typically go for a walk or sit outside or lie down or take a nap. I'm gone for 2 hours, and then I go back to work, only to not be able to do anything again. I do some easy work, like reply to some emails. Just being at work is making me even more depressed, because it's lonely with no windows. Thinking that I'm not getting anything done anyway, I should just go home early and try again tomorrow. Rinse and repeat. I've also tried to work from home to avoid depressing workspace, but that didn't help, and it made me look even more like a slacker because I'm not even putting up the show of trying to work.
My boss has brought up not seeing me at work that often a month ago, and I mentioned something about having been working from home, but from now on, I will come into the office more. But then I went through a breakup, and following through with that seemed even more difficult.
-I've struggled with chronic depression, so I can't promise that this won't happen again in the future
-I don't really enjoy my job that much anyway, but stay due to the flexible schedule (ha..ha...) because I know with a more stringent work environment, my periods of slacking will not be put up with for this long
-I've been on therapy and medication, but a few weeks ago, feeling myself slipping deeper and deeper, started with a new therapist and new meds
-It's possible that I was starting to see some improvements, but then my world was shaken up due to breakup shortly after
-I don't have very much savings...I can probably last 3 months max
-My therapy and meds are through health insurance provided by employer
-I don't have a strong support network (few friends and no extended family)
-I'm in my 20's
-My parents live out of state, and don't know about my depression. We aren't very close, and I don't think they will be supportive of sending me money because I'm too depressed to work. At most, they'll ask I move home, which would be even worse for my mental well being
-I have nobody I feel comfortable asking for financial support. The few people I feel ok asking for emotional support do not have much money either.
I think my life is falling apart. I need this job to support myself and continue with my therapy and medication, in hopes that I get better and can actually be productive. But who's to say when that's going to happen. And I already promised my boss I would work harder, but I did not follow through. If I don't have a job, or the insurance and money to pay for my medical care, I have no idea what I would do. There would be nothing left standing in my life, and no hope for improvement.
This has been long and disconnected. Please tell me what to do. I know it's typically no advised to share in the workplace issues of mental health, but I don't see an option. I can only hope to be able to convince my boss to give me another chance. I'm going to talk to my boss tomorrow. I have a feeling I'm going to have a breakdown during the meeting (I typically during discussions of my hopelessness and depression). I'm pretty sure I will look crazy. Any advice...please...