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Old 11-03-2007, 10:06 AM   #1
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Has Depression Hurt Your Career?

Has anybody disclosed their depression to their supervisors and if so, did it hurt your career? I've always managed my depression with medication and therapy, and have kept it a secret. So long as it didn't affect my work performance I figured it was not my company's business. However, I had to tell my boss about it recently. Nothing's happened yet, but I'm afraid it may hurt my future work assignments and my opportunities for advancement. I'm afraid that my boss may feel I cannot handle stressful assignments, etc. now that he knows. I realize this could be considered discrimination, and stress that nothing has happened yet, but I'm wondering if anybody has had a similar experience, and if so, how it played out.

Last edited by MariaBB; 11-03-2007 at 10:08 AM.

 
Old 11-03-2007, 07:38 PM   #2
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Re: Has Depression Hurt Your Career?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poop Loops View Post
So far you've been doing fine, so what reason does he have to do anything bad to your career?
Unfortunately, many people do not understand mental illness/depression and are prejudiced against it.

MariaBB I am not saying your boss is like that and you would have a better understanding of his feelings on this, but until recently I really did not think having depression, or being a recovering alcoholic, or just having normal problems with life can be thrown in your face. Most of the people I surround myself with, including the support on these boards, have been totally supportive and non-judgmental.

Recently a co-worker/ex-friend of mine said to me, and I quote "everybody knows your effed up, you have lots of ****** problems." She also said (this is the killer) "everyone knows you're on medication." Yikes, like being on "medication" is the worst thing in the world.

This woman has many many problems of her own and I do not put any stock in what she says, but it opened my eyes to the fact that people can be prejudiced against depression.

Now back to you -- I don't know if going in and bringing the subject up again would do any good. Just wait and see what happens. If you feel your admisison is having an affect on the way your boss treats you then I would say something. But again, you must do what feels right for you. Ten different people will tell you ten different things. And in the end, it all works out for the best.

Good Luck.
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Old 11-07-2007, 10:57 AM   #3
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Re: Has Depression Hurt Your Career?

This year my team added two new associates. They have the same college degree as I, but I've been here 15 years and they're new. They're males in their early-20s, I'm in my late 30s and the only female in the group. Since then, my boss has been delegating some of my projects to them. This would be fine, except it leaves me with very simple administrative work and a lot of free time. All of my intellectual assignments have been re-assigned.

I've spoken with my bosses about this, saying I felt under utilized, and that I ALSO completed college. Their response has been "Our team is just busier now", and they "need somebody to do the admin stuff" (meaning me).

Maybe true, but I can't help feeling they're giving my work away because they don't think I'm good enough. They asked about my weight loss, which is when I disclosed my depression. I've since stopped losing weight (can't lose more without being hospitalized). I fear they think I'm over-stressed and it's effecting my mental and physical health. So they're taking my work away. While in reality my weight and depression aren't realted to my career at all. I've been on Prozac for 12 years.

Meanwhile, I've begun paying $300+ per month on student loans. If I knew I was going to have LESS responsibility after college I wouldn't have gone!

Am I being mistreated or am I just overly sensitive? It really sucks because I've had the conversation about me feeling under-utilized with my bosses several times and nothing is ever resolved.

Last edited by MariaBB; 11-12-2007 at 09:07 AM.

 
Old 11-07-2007, 11:32 AM   #4
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Re: Has Depression Hurt Your Career?

I have worked in my position, professional city administrative work, for about 18 years and I have a female boss that was just awful at first! She had no idea that depression can make you just cry and not be able to stop when you want to. I was trying to explain to her that I needed to take medical leave and she just yelled at me and told me to go back to my office and close the door and cry all day!!! I left work, didn't return for three weeks, b/c I was going thru daily therapy as advised by my Dr. and my boss called me twice to say she was writing me up! But lo and behold, when I returned, she DID write me up, but I didn't care! I was very calm and stated," you really need to educate yourself on depression - you are a very smart woman, but need to read a little about this disease." She is very stubborn, and said she respected me for stating this, and for taking time off to do what I had to do,(even though she wrote me up)- but she would not back down on anything else. So yes, my depression affected my career, but I can't say it was ALL negative, even though it really was! But she turned around and gave me a 5% increase one month after returning (I think she was glad I returned and didn't leave her with this responsibility!). Then she became extremely ill and I have just been as cool/detached as she was- which is not my nature at all. I have sent her emails saying I pray for her, etc.. I hope this makes her stop and think about how mean she was when I was so sick I couldn't stop crying!

 
Old 11-07-2007, 12:51 PM   #5
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Re: Has Depression Hurt Your Career?

Hi:

I work or worked in a therapy type field. I was removed from work by my family doctor and my mental doctor will not even consider a return to work at this point. My old bosses know now of my situation and are more then happy to take me back once I get clearance from my doctors.....how they will respond or treat me if that day ever comes I am not to confident about.

take care
trg247

 
Old 11-07-2007, 02:07 PM   #6
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Re: Has Depression Hurt Your Career?

I believe it has... But I've taken steps to cover myself a couple times...

I've taken medical leave twice to deal with depression/OCD... I didn't lose my job, but my supervisor was NOT REAL happy about me taking the time off.

I had one company I worked for that MADE me get a doctor's excuse to say that I would be late a lot... (Because of OCD, I'm late to work a lot.) So, I did that...

I started out in my career as a TV reporter... Chose to quit that; mostly because it gave me PTSD and made my OCD symptoms worse...

So yeah... I guess it has... I've almost gotten fired... Quit the job I thought I wanted to do since I was in middle school...
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Old 11-08-2007, 10:05 AM   #7
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Re: Has Depression Hurt Your Career?

It seems like there's got to be a law against this. Like the American's With Disabilities Act. Isn't depression a disability? How can bosses block your career or advancement if you have a legitimate illness? My boss told me that my work performance had not decreased, so there is not tangible reason for them to take away my intellectually challenging work, yet the did it anyway. Is this a form of discrimination? My boss told me he's not trying to hold me back, but I don't believe him.

Then again I get so sensitive I might be imagining all of this. Everything just sucks right now. And since I have no control over any of it the situation is triggering my depression, anxiety and eating disorder.

Last edited by MariaBB; 11-08-2007 at 10:08 AM.

 
Old 11-09-2007, 05:59 AM   #8
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Re: Has Depression Hurt Your Career?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MariaBB View Post
It seems like there's got to be a law against this. Like the American's With Disabilities Act. Isn't depression a disability? How can bosses block your career or advancement if you have a legitimate illness? My boss told me that my work performance had not decreased, so there is not tangible reason for them to take away my intellectually challenging work, yet the did it anyway. Is this a form of discrimination? My boss told me he's not trying to hold me back, but I don't believe him.

Then again I get so sensitive I might be imagining all of this. Everything just sucks right now. And since I have no control over any of it the situation is triggering my depression, anxiety and eating disorder.
MariaBB: Document what is going on, with dates of when you brought concerns to your boss, and what was said/done. Do this now, and from now on. I am no lawyer, but I sense there may be multiple issues at play-- sexism, age-ism, and a bias against obesity. I am in a major depression and am finding that my colleagues are not who I thought they were. Very few people seem to have the kind of character that stands by someone when they are going through something that others don't u nderstand.

You might want to seek legal counsel, or at least call the ACLU or something. They can tell you who to talk to. First, reiterate to your boss that you are aware that these things have been taken away from you and that it is a concern and you hope to see a reasonable resolution of it. To take away the intellectual aspects of your work is demeaning. This really bothers me.

Good luck, and tell us what happens. Document everything.

 
Old 11-09-2007, 08:43 AM   #9
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Re: Has Depression Hurt Your Career?

Thank you. I spoke with my therapist about this last night and told him that since I often have irrational thoughts I didn't know if this was really happening or if I was over imagining everything. I described several recent scenarios that played out at the office and he said that most of them sounded like I was being marginalized, etc.

I'm taking your advice. I'm going to keep a file of any documents, emails, etc. that I see which pertain to these issues. I'll see where I go from there. I hate to sound paranoid, but this is really upsetting me. Especially how my bosses downplay it and have excuses for the way they are treating me differently. I'll let you know how it plays out. Thanks again.

 
Old 11-09-2007, 02:33 PM   #10
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Re: Has Depression Hurt Your Career?

Good, I am glad you are doing that. It's good that your therapist also sees what I see. Keep us posted.

 
Old 11-12-2007, 09:03 AM   #11
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Re: Has Depression Hurt Your Career?

I've gotten myself paranoid. I'm half afraid that any day now my boss will tell me I'm being let go. I just feel so insignificant at work. Like my bosses are ignoring me, and when I am acknowledged the bosses fear they have to walk on eggshells.

When I last spoke with my boss he said he wasn't trying to hold be back, he just needed someone to do the admin work. But the truth is, I used to do the admin work and the professional work.

I have 15 years with my company and I love my job. I feel really loyal to my company and my team. I would hate to lose my job or feel pressured to quit. Being let go would be so humiliating. I hope most of what's going on is just how I'm perceiving things, and not how they really are. I guess I should just keep my mouth shut and continue working like nothing's happened. I should be thankful that I have a job all.

Last edited by MariaBB; 11-12-2007 at 09:05 AM.

 
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