I use this term, working diagnosis, to share with you what it is like for me to face work life with a long-term diagnosis of major depressive disorder. I discussed in a post recently, Depression Disclosure, the topic of sharing your diagnosis in a public way and in your work environment. Specifically, while you are in pursuit of work, it can be a frightful experience to know that issues like these could effect your ability to obtain employment.
Impact of Depression - Depression Diaries
There are times when the reality of the illness I live with, Major Depressive Disorder, feels unreal. There are times when it seems like a distant memory and as if perhaps the previous suicide attempts and months of darkness never happened. This is one of those times.
Last night, on the Mental Health and Social Media Chat (#mhsm) on Twitter, the topic was job searching and workplace disclosure for those with a mental health condition. While Isabella Mori moderated the chat and came up with all of the discussion questions, it was actually a topic that I had chosen. Depression disclosure at work is particularly relevant to me right now and it is at the forefront of my mind.
Sometimes it feels like it has been a long 20 years of living with depression and it's related challenges. Today feels like it's been far too long. I have been lucky enough to experience periods of reprieve, times of fresh perspective and times of stability. I believe I am still in a healthy place despite some major life challenges. But, even with these periods of relative calm and good mental health, there is something ever-present, the fear and stigma of depression.
Chronic pain and illness create depression, and I live with all of them. I have shared with you before that depression has been with me for a long time now. My last major bout of depression was in 2006, but I, like so many others, still live with the less severe aspects of depression on an ongoing basis. I want to talk to you about my last experience with a major depressive episode because it is greatly linked to a co-morbid condition I have. I know others also relate to chronic pain and other illness creating depression.
Will I ever get better? If you suffer from depression you've certainly asked yourself this question a time or two. In some cases, depression clings for so long that we begin to doubt or believe that it really can improve. Sometimes, it truly feels impossible.