Mental health in the work place? Taboo? Or truth?

Mental health: it’s just as important to maintain as our physical health. So why is it that we’re still terrified to tick the ‘disability’ box on a job application? 

Would you tell your soon-to-be employer that you suffer from a mental illness that may affect your work? Or would you just hide? Hide behind that mask you’ve been wearing for so many years. 

Yes, to be or not to be? That is, indeed, the question.

I recently told my new employer that I would be absent one day this month to partake in medical research. A research intended for past sufferers of depression. That’s right, I’ve donated myself to science. I’ve become an official human guinea pig. And what for? To pay rent, obviously :/ 

Anyway, long story short; I didn’t think about the stigma, I just spat the words out as if we were talking about how my weekend was. Then there was a spark of tension, as if to say, “oh gosh, I’m sorry to hear that you… Er.. You?”. But to be honest, it felt liberating to say that I had suffered. And I now have a summer job- result!

So why is mental health discriminated in the work place so much?

I can only think of a few reasons why. The first being, ’cause I’m mental’. 

As soon as you mention the D word, I’m avoided like a homeless person begging for sympathy. And that’s exactly it, I don’t want sympathy. I want compassion. I want people to understand it’s nothing out of the ordinary. We’re not psychopaths plotting to fly a plane into the Bermuda Triangle, we’re normal people who have much a right to work as everyone else.

People think that having a mental health condition affects your ability to work. Obviously this is true to a certain degree, but what affects us the most is being discriminated against.

But…

What is the cure for aiding this god-ridden taboo of a subject? Personally, I believe telling people in a way they can understand. Throw in a joke (just so they think we are ‘normal’) and smile like you mean it. Amen. 

The importance of keeping up appearances

Keeping up appearances, for me, keeps the mind healthy. Call me materialistic, but doesn’t saving up for that pair of shoes or dress that you’ve had your eye on for weeks, keep you motivated to work? Or, say that you’ve always wanted to be a blonde but you’ve shyed away from the idea because you might look ‘different’. Either way; paying attention to your outer self could help you heal some wounds in your inner self. 

Fashion keeps me motivated and makes me feel good about myself when I buy something I like. I used to want to be a model, I tried to become one by going to London -and all that jazz- but I don’t agree in the whole negative impact the industry depicts of women’s body sizes. Yes, apparently I needed to maintain a pre-pubescent figure and just not grow any hips at all. But hey, I’m now proud to say I have 39 inch hips.

Anyway, this is about you so let’s get to it…

Why is it so important to take care of your image?

It’s all part of the ‘taking care of yourself’ process. Once people start noticing the small changes (or major, in case you did decide to go blonde) you’ll start to feel noticed and this will impact the way you value yourself. 

There’s nothing worse than thinking “I’m worthless, people will never look at me”. If your inner self is beautiful then there’s no reason to think that your outer self doesn’t need tending to as well!

What I’m NOT trying to say is…

-Go out there and live a consumerists dream

-Looks are everything and people only value the person that you ‘look’ like

-spend all your money on clothes! 

-Become someone who you’re not (in terms of looks too)

-Act like you’re okay in front of people when you’re crying inside

 

^ a random picture which reflects my current happy mood. 

4 things to know before you stop taking antidepressants 

As a bid to lead a happier life I’ve decided to quit the happy pills. Ironic, isn’t it? I’ve been feeding my brain with a serotonin feast, and I’m just about sick of relying on these pills in order to lead a happier, depression-free life.

I’m not saying that they don’t work, at first they are a god send! But after nearly two years of being on sertraline (Zoloft) I’m ready to flush the SSRI’s out of my system and make room for the real me.

Here are some golden rules (which I’ve only just discovered myself!)…

1) The doctor is (usually) always right.

Never stop taking antidepressants without telling your doctor 

This could heighten the risk of suicide or self-harming.

The doctor will also put you on the right path by either lowering your dosage or switching you to another medication for the time being.

For me, missing just one day will cause severe ‘brain zaps’ leaving me disoriented and unfit for everyday routines.

2) Ask yourself: are you ready to stop taking antidepressants?

Do you feel you are physiologically dependant on your antidepressants or that you can live without them? 

You will know when you are ready. You won’t feel scared, or frightened to stop. You’ll feel a sense of clarity, that you’re happy enough without them.

I’m sick of feeling numb and not like myself at times, I want to be the person people enjoy being around. I’m happy, so I know the journey will have a light at the end of this all.

3) Tell your friends

Your friends are there to support you, so keep them informed and they might be able to help. 

Friends are the best medicine.

4) Research the withdrawal symptoms of your antidepressants

Some can be short term and others stay in your system for longer.

Antidepressants such as Prozac (fluoxetine) stay in your system for much longer than sertraline, making it sometimes easier to wean off them.

sertraline

I wish everyone the best of luck!

Turn and face the strange.

 

“Don’t be afraid of change.  Change happens for a reason.  Roll with it.  It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it”

 

 

I found this quote from a fellow blogger on …
http://www.marcandangel.com/2013/11/20/50-quotes-to-help-you-let-go-and-live/

I think this quote embraces the fact that, something brilliant will come out of changing your old habits. We change for the better, not for the worst.