When Holding A Job Becomes A Challenge
Depending on the mental illness at hand, working can become difficult if the symptoms are not properly controlled. Many people suffer from very common illnesses such as depression and anxiety, and continue to work through them every day. But holding a job with uncontrolled depression or anxiety is not wise and definitely not recommended. In other words, mental health can stop you from working!
The job that you hold does not really matter, because poor mental health can become a huge distractor while on any job, even if the job is not very mentally or physically demanding. Imagine going to work and experiencing auditory hallucinations of voices in your head, while you’re trying to type up a word document or talk to clients.
Holding a job while suffering from an untreated mental illness is like working two jobs at the same time: your normal one and the second one being the illness in your mind. The problem is that the second job is not rewarding and most likely very emotionally and mentally painful.
When you are experiencing an unmanaged mental illness while on the job, there is absolutely no way that you can be performing at your highest level. If it’s anxiety, you become distracted by your nervousness, worries or even panic. If it’s depression, you are constantly distracted by your negative thoughts, low drive and poor self-esteem.
If it’s PTSD, you are distracted by your potential flashbacks of the traumatic experience in your past. If it’s OCD, you are bombarded with mental obsessions and compulsions which you have to perform in order to alleviate your obsessions. If it’s social phobia, you are constantly worrying about being judged or ridiculed on the job.
As you can see, mental health can stop you from working, because eventually your coworkers, clients or patients will notice that something is off about you. And when you start noticing that they are noticing your odd behavior and poor mental health, it makes you even more uncomfortable and insecure, further decreasing your performance on the spot.
That’s why it’s so important to talk to someone about your mental health problems. Never keep them to yourself and certainly never allow them to escalate to the point of robbing you of your job. Do not underestimate the power of mental illness: it can appear in a flash and last longer than you’d ever imagine.
If you are dealing with something, seek treatment right away! Talk to a psychiatrist and start a medication if you have to. It’s better to take medication and recover from your mental illness, then not take anything and allow your mental illness to bring you down.
As always, feel free to share your stories on The DSM Ready platform!
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