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Do you think I should talk to my manager about being depressed/suicidal? - July 5th 2018, 03:05 AM

So I recently, unexpectedly moved to Texas from Michigan for family reasons that are rather traumatic. I lived in Michigan for 22 years, born and raised, never ever thought I’d have to move. Anyway, long story short, since moving, I have been

a) incredibly homesick
b) extremely depressed with suicidal ideation

I work at a high end clothing store, but it’s retail at the end of the day. Managers are very informal, and its all a very “casual” environment, as most retail jobs are. Obviously there is structure, but we are more like one big happy family rather than coworkers. And like I said, of course managers are managers, and employers are employers, and there is that line of distinction. But things at my company are very different. Everyone feels like family and hangs out outside of work, and it’s as if we are truly all friends with each other outside of work. We even all follow each other on social media.

Anyway, my manager has always been really good at checking up on how I’m doing because he knows I’m homesick. He doesn’t necessarily know I’m depressed but he can tell something is wrong.

So I wrote him a thank you note expressing how grateful I am for him always checking up on me about me being homesick, and always recommending things for me to do in Texas for fun. I really put my heart into what I said but I left it on his desk and didn’t give it to him in person.

I got home and received a message from him on my personal instagram page thanking me for the sweet letter and also stating “hey, if there’s ever anything you want to talk about, or if there’s ever something on your mind, you can talk to me.”

Like I said he went out of his way to message me on Instagram to say that and…. well, should I take it up on him? I feel like he is the only person I know in Texas that I can talk to. Because I am so depressed and suicidal, I haven’t made friends here and I feel like I desperately need someone to know how I’m feeling.

Is it inappropriate for me to message him and say “hey, can we talk?” and open up to him? Not necessarily to say all the deep suicidal feelings I have… but just to reach out and say “hey. I’m struggling. A few weeks ago you told me I could come to you if I needed. Can I just tell you what’s going on?”

I really desperately need to talk to someone in person and he’s the only person I can think of. But I don’t know if it’s too much or not appropriate. Thoughts?
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Re: Do you think I should talk to my manager about being depressed/suicidal? - July 5th 2018, 05:00 AM

Hey there,

If you think that you can trust this person than opening up to them might be beneficial. Everyone has different relationships with their boss; if you are friendly outside of work than confiding in him might be something that you would find helpful. Do you have particular concerns as to why you don't think it would be appropriate or a good idea? If you are in a new state and don't have a lot of support it's important to try and find support. It's possible this person could offer that support.

Another option you might have available is finding a counselor that you can talk to about everything that is going on. A counselor would give you a safe place to discuss your suicidal thoughts and depression. They might also be able to help you figure out if confiding in this person is a good idea.

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Re: Do you think I should talk to my manager about being depressed/suicidal? - July 5th 2018, 05:23 AM

I would not recommend this. More than once, I've confided in a "superior" that I trusted who offered only to have them either deny the offer/ back out unprofessionally or have it used against me later. You should keep your personal life separate, at least the serious stuff. If you want to confide in him, you can ask if your company has an EAP (employee assistance program) where they can refer a struggling employee to counseling if personal problems are interfering with their ability to work, the downside being that they'll know you're interested in using it and it could come back to bite you. Another option would be to contact professionals yourself.

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