Managing depression in the workplace – part 2

The first part of this blog focuses on what depression is: how autistic people are more at risk from experiencing mental illness in their lifetimes, and what to do while going through depression at work. It considers how depression is different for everyone and that sometimes you need to have a break and be signed off from work, and other life duties, where possible.

In this second part, I describe what I do to look after myself when signed off*, and how I manage returning to work.

Firstly, I want to express how there really shouldn’t be any shame associated in being signed off work.

It’s all too easy to be hard on yourself for feeling that you are not managing to cope and that you perhaps could, or should be. But I want to remind you of what you are experiencing, which is a very serious illness, that is deserved of the same time off, treatment and respect that a physical illness attains in status. I know we’re not there yet as a society, and I know you may not have received flowers, chocolate and cards from friends and colleagues, but I can assure you that there is no shame in your situation. You likely have little energy and may feel like you’re on this backward treadmill, trying desperately to move forwards, up a mountain, which has no summit; just continuous corners, inclines, bursts of clouds – and then more trips and dips.