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Old 08-21-2008, 12:14 PM   #2
jake1777 jake1777 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: San Jose, CA, USA
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Re: Dealing with work while depressed.

I read your whole story and I can very much relate.

I am 38, with a beautiful wife, and 2 beautiful kids (oldest is 6). I also have a brand new mortgage. I have a BA from a top university and have been a sales guy for past 12 years, as I am fluent in 4 languages. I was laid off in June this year, and I finally admitted to myself that I have had underlying symptoms of depression for past 20 some years. It was a big relief to finally admit it to myself, but not much relief as what to do about my career. A sales person has to be optimistic, energetic, upbeat, always positive -- how does a depressed person like me can have those qualities to become good in sales ?

My mother has undiagnosed depression for as long as I can remember; so does my brother. My father is alive and healthy. My mother's negative effects on me has been gruesome, as my personal and business life took a heavy toll from her depression on top of mine. She constantly seeks my attention since I was born, as my father, although a nice and understanding man, can never satisfy her attention needs.

As to work, during these past 11 weeks of unemployment, I struggled to own my depression. I saw a therapist for 12 months before being laid off, and we just talked about my childhood, so I decided my money can be better spent elsewhere. I never considered telling my employers about my depression -- they are not in the business of helping people, so I only share my problems with members of my religious group. I am in searching for work that is more "depression friendly".

To overcome, I started taking daily walks in the mornings. I hate exercises, and never been an active person. But those 30 minutes of just walking did wonders for me. After the walk, I get my daily decaf coffee at a busy coffee shop -- seeing the people are hurrying to work makes me feel better. Then I come home to do my daily chanting.
I do occasional journaling -- writing the depressive thoughts always helps me to release it (actually posting them online to share with others even better). I also listen to slow, sad music when I am depressed (favorite is Pink Floyd). This routine has take away the despair that lurked in my heart for so long. I also changed my eating habits -- my meals consist both of quantity and quality -- I found that when I don't eat right, despair sinks in much easier.

I am confident that when I start working again, this routine will lift me from the depression.

Back to your story -- your grief must be expressed and dealt with. I like support groups rather than therapy or medication, especially support groups that deal with the specific subject that bothers us (your case, death of a love one). My wife already knows that I am "out there", she only hopes that our kids don't inherit their father's depression. If your mother was diagnosed officially, it could very well be that you have it too, but the depression never activated until the death of your father. I believe that it's not a matter of how much to reveal, but what to do about the situation is more important.

I know about the fear of losing the job -- but I finally learned, that the fear had a message -- that I must deal with my depression. I finally got the message after I was laid off, but it was a good thing because now I have become a stronger and positive person. Don't let the fear engulf you, listen to what it is saying and do something. Action is only way out.