Your Psychiatric Symptoms @Work
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Your Psychiatric Symptoms @Work



Mental illness can be greatly understood in the workplace. That is why you should try to find a work environment that let's you be yourself. ...

Mental illness can be greatly understood in the workplace. That is why you should try to find a work environment that let's you be yourself.

We offer five suggestions to get you started. Mind your psychiatric symptoms and your career needn't be derailed.

Mark Swartz, MBA, M.Ed. Career Coach



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Your Psychiatric Symptoms @Work Your Psychiatric Symptoms @Work Presentation Transcript

  • Employee MIND& Job- YOURSeeker PSYCHIATRICTip SYMPTOMSSandy LovejoyMonster Contributing Writer AT WORK
  • 1. OVERVIEWIf you have a psychiatric disability and hold down a job in aworkplace where most of the employees do not share thisdisability, you have a variety of stressful situations to dealwith. Because of the stigma still attached to mental illness(it’s slowly getting better), it is hard to decide whether toshare this personal info with coworkers and supervisors.Whichever route you take, you may have fears aboutacting or looking weird while youre working. Here are fivesuggestions for alleviating some of the stress...
  • 2.1 MAKE SURE YOUR JOB MATCHES YOUR COPING SKILLSBe honest with yourself about your strengths and limitations.Then align yourself with a work environment that meets yourneeds in ways that don’t overly stress you.For instance, if you hear voices often despite medication, andlistening to music is a good way to tune them out, working in anoffice or a job site where you can have headphones or a radiomay be a good option.If pressure to keep up with a hectic pace jangles your nerves, or acondition like depression slows you down, stay away from therestaurant industry, assembly-type jobs or publishing.
  • 2.2 RESPECT YOUR ABILITY TO CONCENTRATEMany people like variety in their work; you wouldn’t bealone in needing to shift your attention from a task.Frequent but brief breaks may be an accommodation youneed to request from your employer.If you do take breaks, find ways to do it that dont look tooobvious to other workers who don’t get this privilege.Smoking breaks each hour will call attention to you. Talk withyour boss about how to change what you’re doinglegitimately.
  • 2.3 MAKE A FEW FRIENDS AT WORKPeople who have been out of the workforce for periods ofpsychiatric hospitalization or time in the mental health system,often feel different and are fearful of socializing with people whohavent shared their experiences and may not understand.But staying apart from others only confirms that you aredifferent, in their eyes. Becoming friendly with a few peopledoesnt mean you have to share your life story, but it can makeyou feel like you have some allies and give you another reason toenjoy coming to work.
  • 2.4 HAVE A STRONG SUPPORT SYSTEM OUTSIDE OF WORKMaking sure that you have a support system outside theworkplace means you always have people to rely on.This support group should include your doctor, therapist andyour employer’s confidential Employee Assistance Program (ifavailable), and your family.One of the best things you can do for yourself is to find or begina support group of other people with a psychiatric history whoare working “regular” jobs. You can discuss your fears, attemptsto cope and successes.
  • 2.5 STAY ON A REGIME THAT HELPS KEEP YOU STABLEIf your medication works, dont take med vacationswithout your doctors support and until you are well-situated in your job.Sleep disorders are often part of the illness, but you needto keep your wits about you, so ask for help if this is aproblem.Eat healthy food on a regular basis. Avoid substances youknow will impair your functioning, and try to get regularexercise -- one of the best stress releasers of all.
  • more on this topic:Mind Your Psychiatric Symptoms At Work more career advice: join us on: