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-   -   Telling a boss or teacher about your anxiety or depression (http://www.teenhelp.org/forums/f14-mental-health/t136647-telling-boss-teacher-about-your-anxiety-depression/)

Always * March 1st 2015 12:54 PM

Telling a boss or teacher about your anxiety or depression
 
I have problems with both. Anxiety is permanent. I tend to get depressed second and only sometimes cause I'll be ramped up feeling so anxious and then my system crashes and I feel hopeless, angry, don't care etc.

Sometimes it affects my ability to be productive. I know other people in my class are struggling just as much as me. She are even behind while I'm on track, if not slightly ahead. But this week I was really "sick". I didn't feel good. I just wanted to lay around. I was wanting to cry a lot. It was very hard to be productive. I fell behind on work I did at my internship. I didn't know how to justify it except to say sorry, that I hadn't felt well and that I'd make up for it. But I don't want people thinking I'm just making stuff up. Like "oh yeah I was siiiick" even though 12 hours later I was obviously in perfect physical condition (I never used the word "sick" but it was implied, even though I was really trying to imply "depressed"). The problem is that even when the cloud is dark as black, you can't really tell anything is wrong with me cause I've had anxiety and depression for years and I'm used to walking around with it. On a day when it's really bad, I'm used to trying any how because I have no choice - my anxiety won't give me a break. I can't say "it's ok, I'm 'sick' today, just take a break and do it tomorrow" cause I think it'll never get done and who knows what will happen (failure probably - I catastrophize).

Thing is, I've always been in a position where no one cares. Jobs like at a fast food chain are so easy for me that I could just plod along and no one noticed or cared. And in university, as long as my paper was turned in no one cared what the means we're to the end so if I was depressed half the time and had to wait for a cloud to lift to be productive then who'd know the difference?

Now I have an internship. I have to stick around long term because I am working on 2 projects (possibly soon to be 3) that will not be done in April. One is a campaign that will be done in May, but really not until July or August cause I have to deliver perks and write the report. And one is as a permanent YouTube manager kinda thing, and the (possible) third is the newsletters. The newsletters could be passed off to anyone once I have a full time "big girl" job this summer, as long as I can sit with them and show them the "must include" elements.

Any how, so my depression and anxiety have been noticed. I've never had to worry before. I don't want to tell people. I don't want them to think they can't rely on me to be consistent

How are you supposed to deal with "yeah, hi I have mental health problems. I swear I am a good, reliable hard working person but somedays I am so down I can barely function. I'll make up for it but I want you to know so you understand I have a reason and I'm not randomly lazy.

Astrophile. March 1st 2015 01:47 PM

Re: Telling a boss or teacher about your anxiety or depression
 
I have a similar problem. When I'm feeling "under the weather" I typically tell my boss that I'm not feeling well. I haven't disclosed to her that I have permanent mental health illnesses, but she knows that something is up. Usually she gives me extra breaks in between the day when I'm having a day where it's really just overwhelming.

I guess it's okay to disclose that you have anxiety and depression. They'll probably be understanding. You just have to be honest about what you're dealing with and what you need.

Not_here March 1st 2015 03:24 PM

Re: Telling a boss or teacher about your anxiety or depression
 
This is a problem that has been going on for me as well. And you articulated what the problem is really well. Especially on weekends, I have more time to kinda pull myself through and no one would know what it took for me to get my homework done because I survived anyway.

Personally, I am not keen in telling a supervisor or teacher because it's almost as if their position distances me from them and it's a professional setting, not a personal one. It makes me sad sometimes that the people around me don't care much, and that there's so much they may never know about me, but then again our interactions are more about exchanging functions.

What I would do is, confide in friends. The teacher might not even notice especially if they're university professors and have hundreds of students. But a supervisor might because they work with smaller groups. So either family/friends and perhaps a supervisor or teacher if they make themselves approachable.

I just don't know how understanding they'd be. They'd still want work done. And you might not want to feel like you get off the hook due to your anxiety/depression because it's a helpless feeling. Personally I like to feel i'm getting things through despite my mental health. But at the same time I'd want someone to know "just in case" Just not to be treated differently. To not treat me as "disabled" or "disadvantaged".

It's definitely a complicated issue. I don't have a definite answer. I guess you might want to ask yourself "What are you looking for to happen after you tell them?" Do you want them to just know. Do you want them to do something about it like accommodations. Do you want them to become a supportive figure.
Also, is it important that it is a supervisor or teacher that you tell? Will you be satisfied to talking to a friend or counselor or is it important that the boss of your internship etc is the one who is aware.


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