Jan 25 2019

Mental health

Category: English posts,MiscellaneousIuliana @ 3:14

A few days ago the company I work for organized a mental health workshop with the purpose of teaching people how to recognize signs of depressions and other mental disorders and how to provide support to their colleagues. Although the workshop should have been more interactive, because you cannot recognize signs of mental ill health in somebody if you do not talk to the person, it did its job.

One of the nice ladies started the workshop telling us that Mental health is important. Well, we were all functional adults, some of us with kids, outside and inside(one of my colleagues was pregnant)   and most of us were probably engineers so dhooh! we know how important it is.

Although in a very diplomatic manner, the other nice lady said what I’ve been believing for years: to support people with mental issues, you have to start by accepting that you might not be sane yourself. Because it is the only way you can empathize and be less incline to be judgy and avoidant. The nice lady actually said: if it were up to her the whole world would be in therapy.

It is important to prevent mental problems from appearing, but at 20+ years it is a little too late. Gratitude and kindness are always good for people, but sometime people also need a mental reset. And a reset is not always pleasant. I’m all for rainbows, and happiness and good things, but they don’t always get you where you need to be mentally. Especially when your mind is already broken. And I am sane enough to admit that there is a likely possibility.

We can nurture our mental health through exercise, nutrition, hydration, medical self care and rest. But you know how else we can nurture it? By learning to care less, just don’t give a fuck once in a while, especially when it does not directly affect you and you cannot affect it; whatever that it is. Chances are if you are reading this blog entry you are already 80% luckier then the rest of the planes population. So just allow yourself to dwell in that for a moment.

Work is stressful and stress can lead to mental disorders, but the solution is not always green walls, ambient music and more light. The solution is to make the work itself more engaging, make it so it brings satisfaction and makes people feel like they are doing something meaningful.  Because we all want to leave a mark on this world, and sometimes just spreading our genes is not enough. But hey, we all know that is rarely possible, so yeah, a green wall will do.

The stigma of having mental issues was discussed. Would you mention at your interview that you are fighting depression? Would you mention you are bipolar? Would you mention you have ADHD? Probably not. Because any company wants employees that most times can work at their full capacity and are predictable. A mental illness can make you unpredictable. So we all lie, because one cannot declare himself mentally healthy. And we take the commitment of a contract and then we support each other through any storm that comes our way. The key to mental health in the workplace is to be there for each other, in our best days and in our worst days.  The key to mental health is to treat each other as children. Children get a lot of free passes because they are children and do not know any better. Guess what? Adults are just kids with big hairy bodies.

I would have like to see more interactive exercises, that enables require us to know each other better. Because even if I speak to some people in the office quite often, I still do not know their names. I can tell you the color of their eyes and what they like to do, but names – nope. The bonus here is that when I find out their names by embarrassing myself, it will never leave my brains. I would have liked to see more emphasis on people behavioral patterns and how we should pay attention when they change, because this means that person is going through something. But then again, the whole workshop was only four hours long.

My conclusion is that, we are all mad one way or another and we do not have to feel guilty about it. We are what this society enabled us to be. So, be kind to one another, do not put the asshole label on a person forever just because they happen to have one bad day or more of them.  Do your best to listen and show some support, and the world might be a more tranquil place for all of us.

Stay safe, stay happy!

(Image source)

2 Responses to “Mental health”

  1. Adrian Scheff says:

    “Tell me John, where do you see yourself in 3 years?”
    “Lying on the warm sand somewhere on a tropical beach, enjoying the sunset with a cocktail in my hand and a beautiful girl at my side, forgetting all the shitty days I’ve had coming to work daily at this fucking place”
    Honesty at interviews, eh? :)
    Btw, there’s one book that I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to improve their mental health and lower anxiety,stress, depression, ocd, etc:
    CBT for dummies, by Rhena Branch and Rob Wilson.
    Hands on the best self-help book I’ve ever read.

  2. Iuliana says:

    Thank you for the recommendation. Ordered.

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