Keep calm and carry on?
April 19, 2013 8:41 AM Subscribe
I'm going through a bout of depression and while it isn't affecting my work, it is affecting how I behave at work. I realised today that some of my colleagues have picked up on this change in behaviour. How can I maintain my dignity and privacy?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (7 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I've been undergoing treatment for depression for over ten years, though I've been depressed since I became a teenager. I've had great success with my medication (escitalopram), but suddenly it seems to have stopped working. I'm doing everything right to manage this: my GP is doing tests to rule out other factors; I'm seeing a great personal trainer several times a week to get active; I'm seeing a clinical psychologist to talk things through; and I'm currently organising an appointment with a psychiatrist to discuss medication options. I have wonderful support from both my partner and one of my parents.
I work in the sciences. As soon as I get absorbed in my work, I'm fine and work well. There are no problems with my productivity (in fact, we have two people away at the moment and I'm covering both my work and theirs successfully). The problem is that sometimes I know I'm about to start crying out of the blue, and so I need to get out of sight of my colleagues until I have it under control. Sometimes I'm exhausted and I just can't get up in the morning (even though I'm getting enough sleep). Sometimes I just feel so very dull and stupid. The outcome of this is that I've often being getting in half an hour late and leaving an hour early so that I can have the privacy I need to cry etc. I'm still doing the work, I'm logging my hours, and I let people know that I'll be working from home (I don't just disappear), but these absences are noticeable.
Today I had a meeting with my manager and I had a feeling that something was up. So I brought this issue up by saying "I just wanted to talk to you about the fact that I'm feeling like I'm not doing my best work at the moment". I explained that I was feeling very tired and that I was having blood tests to rule illness out. I also brought up my concerns about overwork. My manager was really, really understanding and we discussed ways to manage the excessive workload. I said that I thought I had everything under control, but that I would keep them posted on how I was going.
I don't want my colleagues to know that I suffer from depression. For me, this is something that my friends and family can know about, but not my colleagues. I've always been able to hide the extent of my depression really well, but clearly I've slipped up here. So, metafilter, tell me:
1) How do I manage my depressive symptoms at work;
2) How do I get up in the morning? Should I prep coffee the night before? I keep sleeping through my alarms :(