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How to control mental illness in the workplace and improve job performance

Study guide

If you suffer from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental health problems, know that you are not alone. These types of illnesses can make your work life difficult. In some countries, in addition to laws to protect the physically ill, there are laws to protect people with mental illness. be with us. In this article, we will refer to these rules and at the end, we will share with you practical tips that will help you to experience a better working life, despite the existing legal vacuum.

I lost all the food I had just cooked and spilled it on the floor. I fell to my knees. I screamed on the floor and cried as I trembled as I picked up the food spilled on the floor. Then I sat down to write this paragraph. This was all the excuse I needed to justify that failure. I had to wait until the end of working hours to focus on this bad situation. You may also get nervous, frightened, and stressed at work, or suddenly let go and get angry. Mental illness can manifest itself in the form of distraction and slow down people’s work. It can also deplete creativity when you need it most, or… but how can we mobilize ourselves in such situations and control our mental state?

Unlike many physical illnesses or disabilities, having a mental illness is not always visible to your co-workers. This situation is like a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it exposes you to less discrimination than a person with more tangible problems. On the other hand, when mental illness makes it difficult for you to work, in the eyes of others, you are simply giving up doing your job well. This view makes it difficult for you to receive the necessary support from those around you. Here are some strategies that can help you, even when you are not feeling well at work.

4 effective solutions that everyone can use

In some cases, talking to the employer may work to get some help. Even in countries where these laws exist, discrimination against these patients occurs in the workplace. In fact, the use of these rules is much more complex than the text of the law.

Raising the issue with your employer can be daunting. You may be worried that your employer will diagnose you with your illness. The bad news is that this concern may be justified. Sometimes employers do not want to help employees who have problems. The law in some countries forces them to help patients, even when they do not like it. Even compassionate bosses may not consider your situation when deciding on a budget or promotion.

With this in mind, here are some strategies I have discovered over the years to balance the needs of myself and my employers:

1. Set aside repetitive tasks and what does not require creativity for the days when you feel worse

Some jobs may involve both creative and mechanical work (or no creativity at all) and can be distinguished and done in each case when there is the greatest ability to do them. If you need a brainstorming session for your work week or you need to manually enter data into an Excel spreadsheet, try doing the more creative part of the day on a day when you are in a better mood and doing repetitive and unnecessary creative tasks. Postpone to times when you are not feeling well.

2. Choose the style of work that best suits your needs

For the past six years I have had the chance to work from home. I already realized that working in an office is more difficult given my needs. You may prefer to be structured or flexible. But in the long run, it is better to find a job that provides what you need and not limit your needs to the vacancies that a job leaves you with.

3. Take care of your life at home

You can not manage everything that happens at work, but at home, you have more control over things. If you need space to cry, scream, or break down, make time at home. Take care of your daily habits such as the food you eat, hygiene and doing housework. This will make you feel stable.

4. Do not compare yourself with your colleagues

Mental Illness in the Workplace - Find the Right Work Style for You

It is easy to be in the atmosphere of an organizational culture that prioritizes a particular type of work. If your co-workers can sit back for four hours and do a lot of work, do not try to work like them. If you need frequent breaks to keep your stress down, this is how you work. As long as you can satisfy yourself and your boss, how you do things should not matter.

However, the biggest lesson I have learned is that there is no one-size-fits-all way to get things done. Sometimes it’s best to interact with your boss and talk to him or her about specific actions you can take with each other. These interactions can create a productive work environment for you. Also, sometimes the right thing to do is to give yourself a chance to cry at lunch. You do not have to have a reason. Both are acceptable and necessary.

3 American Laws That Can Be Inspirational for Managers

In the United States, there are laws to protect the mentally ill, as there are laws for the physically ill. However, these rules are limited. Rules that, even if they do not exist, employers can rely on and be inspired by these rules to provide better conditions for their employees. Here are some of them.

First and foremost, in most cases, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), individuals have the right to keep a mental illness as long as it does not affect their performance. However, if they want special help from the employer, they may need to declare their mental illness. Of course, in some cases, the person still has the right to keep the disease secret.

One of the basic rights of protection under the ADA is that the employer cannot discriminate against a person because of illness. Although employers have the right not to hire people who they think are unable to perform their duties, they do not have the right to reprimand or terminate a person simply because he or she has a mental illness. It should also be noted that this law applies to employers who act in accordance with stereotypes or misconceptions about mental illness.

For example, when an employer does not understand the symptoms of depression, he or she mistakenly thinks that his or her depressed employee is so upset that he or she cannot take care of customers. In such a situation, the employer cannot dismiss him or consider the mental illness as a reason for not promoting the person. Because it is a stereotype and does not correspond to the performance of the individual. However, if clients have multiple complaints about this person’s poor service or he or she is often absent from work, the employer can consider a mental illness to reprimand or dismiss him or her.

1. Reasonable assistance requested

The Committee on Equality of Employment Opportunities in the United States believes that individuals have the right to seek assistance in dealing with any situation which, if left unchecked, could “substantially restrict” the performance of their duties. These benefits may include, but are not limited to, the following. Inspired by these, you can demand better working conditions from your employers or, if you are an employer yourself, create better working conditions for your employees.

Flexible leave or working hours

If you need leave to attend treatment sessions or receive reasonable care, the employer is required to coordinate with your plan. Of course, it is not always the case that your request for leave is granted, but what is desired is more limited to cooperating in changing working hours. In this regard, depending on the time of your treatment sessions, collaborations will be made or your vacations will be considered for times when the disease will worsen.

More flexible and adaptable work environment

Mental illness in the workplace - changing environment

For example, if you find it easier to work in a quiet environment due to the effects of the disease, you can ask the employer for a quieter space, or if such space is not available, you can request quiet headphones to keep you quiet.

‌‌. Being under the special supervision of a supervisor or supervisor

Supervisors are responsible for overseeing and leading work teams. Mentally ill people can expect special cooperation from caregivers. For example, if someone has difficulty memorizing oral instructions due to sensory problems, they can ask the employer to notify them of the requested tasks in writing.

3. Work permit at home

Even if your other co-workers are not allowed to work at home, you can still claim the opportunity. However, you must be able to perform your job duties remotely and maintain the quality of your work at the level that is expected of you.

Requests must be reasonable

As can be guessed, the line between what is considered reasonable and what is not is blurred. If depression means taking sick leave from your employer from time to time, it makes sense to expect such help. But if you are constantly absent without notice, your job performance will be affected.

In some occupations, requested assistance may not be possible. If you work in an office, requesting a quieter space is practical, but it may not be possible at the construction site. “Reasonableness” is the request for keywords in the interpretation of these rules, which itself has no clear meaning. In order to get help, it may be necessary, for example, for a physical illness, for the person to provide a doctor’s certificate or other evidence to the employer.

Importantly, it is best to ask for help before the illness interferes with your work. If you do not address your needs and your work is disrupted because of this, the employer can attribute the termination of your cooperation to your poor performance and not to your illness. In such a situation, it will be difficult to argue that your illness or request has never been raised.




How to control mental illness in the workplace and improve job performance

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