Magazine article Management Today

What's Your Problem?

Magazine article Management Today

What's Your Problem?

Article excerpt

Q: I suffer from recurring depression and anxiety attacks. My condition has never affected my work - until now. I'm going through a particularly bad bout at the moment and the quality of my work is suffering. My manager doesn't seem to have noticed - or at least she hasn't said as much - but I feel I should say something. I don't want to be singled out as someone who has 'mental health problems', in case it leads to me being overlooked for promotion in the future. How much should I tell her?

A: Sadly, our attitudes to conditions of the mind are still starkly different from our attitudes to conditions of the body. There's an almost superstitious taboo about any problem that could be seen as 'mental' - so I quite understand your hesitancy. But just imagine for a moment that you were suffering not from depression and anxiety attacks but from the after-effects of some physical complaint. They, too, could affect your work from time to time - but you'd feel entirely happy mentioning it to your manager.

Keeping your problem to yourself is already causing you additional anxiety - the last thing you need. Talking about it with your manager - quite openly but with no great sense of drama - would in itself relieve some of the pressure you feel. …

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