They say you only live once. For a person with depression and suicidal tendencies, death is not exactly bad news. I know this sounds bleak, but every one of us is sure to die someday. In fact, my "death story" is often the only thing that motivates me to work hard. Let me explain. (Note: This piece contains a trigger warning.)
Work and Bipolar or Depression
Depression causes my impulsivity. For example, yesterday, I almost quit therapy. A few minutes into my session, I felt the urge to tell my therapist that I couldn't continue as nothing seemed to be working for me and probably never would. I acted on the thought and told her what was on my mind. She talked me down and said that sure, we had hit a wall recently. But that didn't mean things would never improve. Her words made sense to me, and we resumed the session.
Here's what a day in my work-life looks like with depression: The alarm rings at 8:00 A.M. On most days, I am able to wake up with it. In case I don't, I rely on the backup alarm at 8:30 A.M. Either way, waking up is one of the hardest parts of the day. I have to hit the shower immediately after I wake to stay up. Bathing is a challenge, but since it makes me feel better mentally and physically, I push myself to do it every day.
Self-doubt is a recurring theme in my life. It affects multiple areas of my life, from ethics and relationships to my personal and professional choices. What I experience isn't a healthy level of doubt; it is extreme and therefore unhelpful. And my depression and anxiety are responsible for this. Like many people, I have both, and together they make my self-doubt more potent.
We live in a heteronormative world, and our workplaces are no different. It may seem that we live in a time where things are considerably better for those who are not straight. Yes, there has been significant progress since the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan, New York. But we have a long, long way to go before homophobia becomes a relic of the past. Until then, it's important to know about the impact of homophobia on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, etc. (LGBTQ+) employees. In today's article, we will take a look at the discrimination they face at work -- and how it may result in depression.
Do you have a strong feeling that one of your coworkers is faking depression at work? They always have a smile on their face and manage to meet deadlines. How could they be depressed in that case? If you feel this way about someone you know, read on.
Have you ever pretended to be someone else at work? I don't mean faking confidence or competence; I mean faking your personality. For example, let's say you like to spend your breaks listening to music by yourself but everybody else in your workplace likes to hang out and chat. Even though you don't like it at all, you join them day after day merely to fit in. The longer you keep up this facade, the harder it is to stop and be true to yourself. It may seem harmless but behavior like this can cause as well as worsen depression. Let me explain with a real-life story.
When was the last time you felt good about yourself at work? Was it because of the amount of work you got done, especially at a time when you had zero motivation? Or was it when you got a pay raise? If reasons like these make you feel worthy at work, you may have a case of internalized capitalism.
We've all been there -- professional setbacks happen to everyone from time to time. You're passed over for a promotion, you mess up on an important project, or you're hit with a poor performance review that you didn't see coming. Maybe you've even been put on probation or, worse, terminated from your position. Or perhaps you have a patchy work history and feel doomed to repeat a perpetual cycle of hopping from dead-end job to dead-end job, never finding fulfilling work or achieving your full potential. And professional setbacks can be a big hit to one's self-esteem. In some ways, the stakes are higher when you work with bipolar disorder.
Due to the number of hours many of us spend at work, it is natural for work to become an integral part of one's identity. In fact, there's a term for it: work identity. Depression also affects one's work identity, so much so that it might define you in your workplace. What's more, it may also define the way you see yourself.