Mental illness leads to more lost workdays than arthritis and back pain. Think of it as the “silent tsunami”. It is mental health and psychosocial disorder in the workplace drowning productivity in many companies.

I watched it happen from the time of my adolescence to my late ‘30’s. Depression fed my late father’s low self-esteem and he literally worked himself to death trying to feel better about himself at work. His, and our family’s, 26 years of misery could have been avoided had he not feared mental illness stigma and reached out for professional help.  Heart disease disabled Dad when he was in his late ‘50’s. He died when he was only 62.

Like father, like son means that a son's character or behavior can be expected to resemble that of his father. I carried the genetic prdisposition for mental illness well into my adulthood.  After years of struggle and loss, I was eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I learned years later Dad had bipolar, too, diagnosed two years before his  death, but treatment started too late to make much of a difference. Hismanic side exploded in domestic violence, which added Post Traumatic Stree Disorder (PTSD) for my brothers, sisters and me to carry into adulthood. 

Here is how depression made me feel at work. My first career was as a Christian minister. Mental illness stigma was strong in the church in those days so I told no one and did not seek professional help.I hid behind the pulpit with a phoney smile while suicidal ideation danced in my mind nearly every day. I left the ministery after two years. I was mistakenly thinking the depression was caused by my work and made an impulsive decision to go  graduate school, earn a master’s in Radio-TV-Film with a focus on broadcast journalism. My relatively short-lived career as a radio and television reporter and anchorman was eventually destroyed by disabling panic attacks I learned years later were caused by chronic depression and alcohol abuse. I was self-medicating with alcohol.

An odd phenomenon common to most people with chronic depression. I forget I was ever well. I forget I’ll come out the other side (I always do). I forget there even is another side. This is thought of by psychologists as the “amnesia of depression”. Because depression feels permanent. The late Robin Williams once said depression is like having the “worst flu all day that you just can't kick."

People with high self-esteem feel good about themselves and appreciate their own worth. At the same time, they acknowledge their weaknesses but they don’t allow those weaknesses to play an irrationally large role in their lives. The key word is “irrational”. There is nothing “rational” in the mind of someone clinically depressed. In my experience, I was fearful and paranoid at times that colleagues were out to get me in some way. I always had an “enemy” in my mind when I was deeply depressed and so my focus was not on my productivity, but on them whoever they were. My dad, too. I remember his “enemy’s” name very well. His last name was “Snodgrass” (a fine Scottish name meaning “smooth grass”), which made it sound more menacing to us kids for some reason.

People with high self-esteem are happier than those with low self-worth. They’re also more likely to take on difficult tasks and persevere in the face of failure. Therefore, they’re more likely to succeed.

Depression is an illness, employers. Don’t make it harder for your employees to reach out for professional help by not making it perfectly clear mental illness stigma is not tolerated in your workplace. A common misconception about mental illness is that individuals can’t recover from it. According a study by the Partnership for Workplace Mental Health 65%-80% of individuals with a mental illness will improve with appropriate diagnosis, treatment and ongoing monitoring,

In a 2004 study, employees who received high-quality depression care management over two years realized a 28 percent improvement in absenteeism and a 91 percent improvement in presenteeism (when employees are present at work but not productive). That translates to an annual savings of $3,476 per employee (in 2013 dollars), according to Kathryn Rost, a research professor at the University of South Florida.

Employees with mental illnesses just want to do their jobs, says Craig, the employee who was fired after he disclosed his bipolar disorder. He wants “to be treated with dignity and respect with the understanding that bipolar disorder is like any other illness that needs to be treated,” he says. “It can be managed.”



So, you think it can be a mental illness? I guess I need help from a psychotherapist.


Mental health awareness is an important topic to be tackled in today's time. A lot of people seem to not know its risks in their lives. Most people underestimate the effects of it. If one sees the symptoms of a mental health issue, it should not be ignored. Seeing psychiatrist is a not that bad of a thing to do. It's an advantage to know one's sickness at an early stage. There's nothing shameful in seeking help. All of us need help. Spread the word to raise the level of awareness for mental health issues.

10/30/2017 7:52pm

Work is not that easy as others think. At first, it is fun because you know at the end you will receive cash that is from your hardships but you will realize after that there is something bothering you in work. It may be your office mates, the stress of work, your boss and many more. The most important thing to do when you are working is that you should have the time management and discipline and work organizer. It will make a lot easier for you, trust me! Don’t forget to treat also yourself after a stressful work in a month, in this way; it will help you maintain your beauty and peace of mind.

09/17/2017 11:59pm

Believe on yourself, be a consistent hardworker and you are halfway there.


According to statistics, 1 out of 4 people in America suffer from mental illness. Creating awareness is really a tough job for people who are close minded about this topic. Mental health is as important as physical health. Both should be addressed and early intervention can definitely help prevent further problems. Anyone could be a victim of this issue. It could be your mom, dad, sibling or even your friend. It’s hard to distinguish their emotions. I hope that more people realize its importance.


Life is all about having believe on yourself.

11/01/2017 7:18am

Okay, I will remember that. But I think everything is fine with my self-confidence right now.

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Mental illness is a serious case in this generation. Even children are suffering that kind of illness in different country. What more to those people who got stressed at their work? It is really hard if you are experiencing mental illness. You'll get paranoid and sometimes you hallucinate about other things. If you have a chance to work and still experiencing mental illness why don't you get inspired by that? yes, it is hard but think of the positive side of it. Use the chance to boost yourself confidence, rebuild yourself and always think that even you have that illness you are still worth it, Stop thinking negativity in life, even if your illness was inherited by your father or what so ever don't give up on life. There is always a way for you to make it and survive from your illness. Believe on yourself and God will do the rest.

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Mental health problem is a serious issue, some people might think that these are just simple cases of mental health problem, but no. People suffering from this condition hide this problem to avoid criticism but they need attention and care to cure these problem. As they say, people suffering from these are no faces, Meaning they are happy outside but inside they are already drowning. We should practice talking to people who suffer from this kind of condition and let us listen and understand them. Thank you for sharing your own experience about this kind of condition, people are now aware about this kind of condition.

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