Abstract: Do you live with a mental illness? Do you have a job? Living with a mental illness while working full-time can be difficult. The stigma around mental illness and those who suffer from it can be troublesome. Talk to your doctor to get medication. Let your boss know about your condition. Take some time off and reduce your responsibilities if things get rough. Mental illness doesn’t have to prevent you from working. Have an open mind, and you can help yourself, your life, and your job.
Living with mental illness is difficult for many people, and working with a mental illness is never easy. The reality for many people suffering from mental illness is they have to keep their condition under control so they can work to provide for their families. If you suffer from a mental illness, you should learn how to effectively handle this situation at work. It won’t cure you, but it can help you.
If you suffer from any type of mental illness, speak to your doctor about it. You must be diagnosed to receive medication and/or therapy for this. It helps to know what you’re dealing with and have a way to manage. Your doctor can even offer you advice that might make the workday easier.
Your mental illness is not grounds for job termination. You have rights, and you should look into your company’s policies and handbooks so you can learn how to protect those. From insurance regulations to unemployment law, it’s time you find out what rights you’re entitled to at work.
This will not be an easy conversation no matter how much you like your boss, but it’s necessary. Your boss should know about your condition so they can help. There’s a chance you might suffer from side effects from the medications you’re taking to control your mental illness while at work. Your boss needs to know what might happen and how to help if it does. They also need to know if the medication you’re taking requires you not participate in certain work activities or job functions. Don’t hide this information from your boss.
One thing you need to learn to do while living and working with a mental illness is take life a day at a time. Embrace the good days, and remember to handle the bad ones the best you can. Remember, today is important, and tomorrow doesn’t yet matter. Worrying about tomorrow often exacerbates symptoms.
With mental illness to deal with, you might need to make changes in your work life. Perhaps you need time off occasionally, less responsibility, and other things that make your illness and life easier. If you do, be prepared to be flexible when speaking to your boss. You might take a pay cut if you need more time off, or you might be willing to accept fewer responsibilities.
Working with a mental illness is never easy, but it’s manageable. Go into this with an open mind and the realization it will work out when you put your mind to it. You can help yourself, but you need to be willing to make some sacrifices in the meantime.
Claire Stewart is a freelance writer and blogger focused on writing about health, travel, and business among other topics. She graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor’s and currently lives in Seattle with her goldfish, Merlin. To learn more about unemployment law, visit here.