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Advice needed for being depressed at work


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I am a graduate student, so while I am an adult, I am supported by my parents. I work part-time. 

I have been diagnosed with O.C.D. and was diagnosed as being depressed two summers ago, though after three months of barely wanting to get out of bed, I felt a lot better. In the past four jobs I've had, I have found myself obsessing over things that happened at work. If I made a mistake, I obsessed over it. Even when I didn't make mistakes, I obsess over if I made one or not. I have this fear of being fired even though 3 of my last 4 bosses have said very kind things about me and didn't give me any indication I would be fired, and 2 of the bosses were/are also personal friends of mine. The 1 boss who probably wouldn't say great things about me is just upset I quit and never indicated my job might be in jeopardy. Here I am, the 4th job in a row where I find myself unable to function in the past few weeks because of stress. My job is in the sales/marketing field and I had a miscommunication with a customer, resulting in the customer not being satisfied with their order. I don't think it was entirely my fault (my mistake was simply misunderstanding what the customer wanted because they told me they wanted something different from what I described but then did want the something I described in part). 

The bottom line: I have a strong work ethic, but I always get to a point where I feel depressed at work. In school, I have normal anxiety during exam time but that's it.

Any suggestions as to how I might cope with this? Is this normal?

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Hi Guyhere92,

I can relate to this. I have never been diagnosed with O.C.D but I suspect I have that as well as depression.

I feel very strongly about my job and I suspect you do too. I also obsess about my mistakes, but less now than before. With experience, I have learned to deal with it rationally by admitting it immediately and focus on what can I learn from it. I need to deal with people constantly in my line of work and as soon as I make a mistake or it´s pointed out, I reflect on it, then say: "My mistake. I´m really sorry about it." Then I think about what I can to do make up for it and suggest it to the person concerned. Usually it is the end of the matter.

I would suggest that you give your mistakes less power by using this method. I always try to do better with each mistake, so it doesn´t have such a strangle hold over me as it used to. You have to get used to making mistakes, because we all do. It´s not what happens, it´s how we deal with it that matters.

Take it one day at a time in your job. Don´t think of tomorrow, just the day. Decide you will do the best you can for that day, despite your stress. Use affirmation and self talk to build your self confidence and tell your stress it can be there too, but you are not going to let it bring you down. It will be hard at first, but with practice, it won´t control you.

Hope it helps. Let me know.


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After I replied to your post, I remembered an email I have not been able to look at - because of my underlying anxiety and fear of failure. In one of my jobs I´m a part time professor at a University and this particular post is the student´s assessment of my work and how well I´ve done last term.

What I will do: Call a coworker and go over the student´s assessment with her support, but I´m giving myself time and preparing myself before I do so. Any negative feedback will be used to do better. That´s all there is to it, but it will be tough. I had super critical students last term.

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