This is an interesting article for me. It states that just 2% of workers feel like their manager would be able to help them if they suffered from mental illness such as depression. Here’s the thing, I had two very different experiences when I first was diagnosed with sever depression. My first boss, once I came back from a leave of absence, sat me down in her office, told me that she was there to talk or do whatever she needed to do to help me get well, including rearranging my schedule to allow for therapist appointments, but that I would have to come to her. In order to maintain my privacy, she was never going to say another word about it. I could explain my schedule to coworkers any way I wanted to, and she would treat me exactly the same in front of them as she did before. That was wonderful! It was exactly what I needed, to be given room to work on my own survival, but to generally be treated equally to everyone else in the workplace.
After I transferred to another department, my new supervisor fancied himself a psychology “expert” and proceeded to tell me that he’d seen my personnel records and that he would be “keeping an eye” on me, for my own good, and that he would have me in to talk about what was going on if he felt I needed it. He consistently treated me differently than the other people under his employ and I was gone 3-4 months later. I hated working there, I hated him and I never once felt comfortable working for him after that. Since then, most people I’ve worked for I’m fairly certain would have no clue what to do if confronted with the situation.
I can see now, years later, that the first supervisor was very much in the minority, and I miss working for her. 🙂
That’s why, when it comes to dealing with other survivors or victims of depression on this site, I try and treat them all the same as I would non-survivors, and I basically take the same approach that that first supervisor did. I’m always here to read an email or listen, but I don’t, generally, make it my business to track after people who write me, or pronounce my opinions without being asked first. I wouldn’t do that to just anyone so why should I treat survivors differently if they never asked me to?