Working With Mental Health Issues – Part Two

One thing that I find difficult when working full time is having to schedule in doctors appointments, therapy and group therapy without annoying your managers.

 

A workplace will understand if you need to go to the doctors every once in a while but when you have weekly therapy or are going through a rough time and need an emergency appointment with your doctors, they tend to get annoyed.

 

In my original position/department at my current company, it was okay. I had a few managers who were happy to let me go to appointments when I needed to because they realised that I was suffering and that I needed help. When you work full time and you don’t get days off within the week it is really quite difficult to schedule in appointments and therapy because, in the UK at least, these are only really available Monday – Friday.

 

I moved to another department due to business changes and found myself under less understanding management. My team leader was amazing, she was understanding and it was refreshing to be managed by someone like her but the managers/directors are the ones that make the decisions. The big guns, if you will. My manager told me that she suffered with anxiety and she was on the same medication as me and I thought “that’s amazing, at least I will have a good support network here and hopefully they will be able to be flexible”. At first, it was good but then people started to get annoyed when they realises what I  was really like.

 

Every few months, each employee has to fill out a form about their performance and how they feel about their job/give feedback about the company. Each time I would just put that everything was fine and that I didn’t have any feedback. One day, I decided to just tell the truth. I said that I thought that they didn’t care about their employees and that they weren’t understanding. I wrote that I felt as though it was an unfair environment and that I wasn’t happy. My team leader conducted the meeting with me and we discussed my issues etc but then it was given to the manager and the director who disagreed so much that I had to have another meeting. They shot me down on every opinion that I gave. They asked me how they haven’t been understanding and I said to them that I was upset one day and they just left me there, crying, for three hours. No one asked me how I was doing or what was the matter or if I needed 5 minutes. I would have spoken to them myself but I was embarrassed that I was crying and I couldn’t even talk through hyperventilating. My manager told me that it was not her job to ‘baby’ me and that was basically it. I was so frustrated, I was abrupt and short during the rest of the meeting and just went back to my desk.

 

After that, I just couldn’t cope with the environment and the people in my department anymore. I just needed to get out of there but with my anxiety and unstable emotions it is difficult because change is scary. I get annoyed and upset if I just have to move desks, let alone jobs.

 

I discussed this in depth with my partner and one of our close friends (who is a manager in a different department) and we all thought that it would be best to move to my friend’s department because she could keep an eye on me and help me have a happier working life. So after a lot of thought and debate, I bit the bullet and went for it.

 

You really need a stable, happy and understanding work environment when you have mental health issues because you need to feel as though you are not a burden and you need to be comfortable with where you are. A lot of people, including me, struggle to leave their bedroom or their house because they are just overwhelmed with emotion and this makes it difficult to get employment. As well, most of us need to disclose our disorders when we apply for positions because the employer should know who they’re employing and if they need any special assistance or if they need to go to appointments etc. This also puts a barrier in front of employment. I think that most people who conduct interviews will choose someone who is less likely to cause a fuss rather than someone who needs certain things in order to be comfortable and feel safe. In my mind, I think ‘well why employ someone who needs to go to loads of therapy during working hours when I could employ someone who will just come in and get the job done’. This sort of mentality puts so many of us off of getting a job because we are scared of rejection which is completely natural.

 

I think that something that should be addressed in therapy or group therapy is working and how we can overcome our fears with it, whether that be rejection or leaving our home. We need specific instructions or advice on how to cope with troubling situations. For example, I work in a call centre, I have had many people shout at me on the phone and I cry during/after every single one because I am embarrassed and annoyed. I have to leave the room and calm myself down which is annoying for everyone. I would love some professional coaching on how to reign in my emotions and cope with that type of situation.

 

So, currently I am working in my friend’s department and she has been really great to me. I have only been there a week but she has made me feel super comfortable and I know that I can go to her if I need to talk, she will let me go to any appointments I need and she will support me through my difficult days.

 

I am so grateful that I can work and that I can enjoy it.

 

Hopefully there will be more opportunities and happiness within work on the horizon 😊

 

~ Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! If you have any requests on subjects that you would like me to discuss, please let me know! I would be more than happy to give it a go! ~

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