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Living With Depression And A Career And Jobs


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I make up for depression-inspired gluts in my performance with productivity marathons during periods of elevated mood (not mania ... I'm not bipolar). So far it's worked and I haven't yet felt any indication that my job is threatened by internal forces. My boss is aware of my potential, in both the positive and negative sense.

Some days I'm ridiculously over-qualified for my job, other day I'm pathetically under-qualified. Somehow, over the long haul, a balance has been struck. From the business calculus, two weeks of poor to mediocre work are justified by those seldom moments of brilliance when I boost revenue, reduce expenses or contribute some unquantifiable value to the organization. All in a day's work ... and a month's wallowing.

My persistent worry is that while I currently hold a well-paying job with broad opportunities, my experience in management absent any professional designation will leave me vulnerable to the "new" economy* and its fracturing of the once proudly held concept of job security. Feudalism 2.0.

*The one where most of the wealth is concentrated into the hands of the few who believe they attained their wealth through some divine, hard fought merit while putting their palm up against the undeniable reality of societal contribution that got them most of the way there. **** you Ayn Rand.

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So I had my annual review with my boss yesterday. I was ultra nervous going in - as I've posted before, I desperately need this job to continue to save my house from foreclosure- with my Ch 13 on my record it would take a miracle to find another job in this field at this level.

Ironically boss was singing my praises. They love my work & have big plans for me. I'm to present at the next Management meeting at an exclusive club in Phila in March. I'm being included in upper management of a rapidly growing successful company. Apparently I'm playing my part well as the high powered accounting executive.

And today I feel just completely drained. Drove in envying the dump truck drivers, the landscapers, anything that doesn't require such a political, polished act - as well as every cell of my remaining brain power.

But I'm stuck. Also ironically I know a lot of people would **** for the job & opportunity I have now.

On top of being depressed & easily fatigued, this is never the place I pictured myself being in the past, never the work I wanted to do. I got swept into it as I got greedy for the salary. Then I bought a house. Now I'm stuck. For at least 5 years, sigh.

Been struggling with the irony of my "great success" in the annual review vs. my mood & thoughts. Knew you guys, well most of you anyway, would understand. Have to vent somewhere. Thanks for listening.

Back to being office executive "super woman" now, sigh.

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Well done on the annual review - you must be a very good actress - I'm rubbish at hiding my emotions.

I know you seem stuck and that might have to be just the way it is for a while. But at least you're coping ok and no one has noticed.

Zone out time I find good, I get it in my current job and although it's usually not imposed (although we share out any s***ty jobs) they allow me to not think too much put some music etc , see if you kind find any other ways of relieving the high pressure even if for 10 mins? I've already shared the getting out of the office one (even in the rain and cold). Maybe some other ways you can too?

Double edged sword - but stay strong. How's the Celexa going. How the dosage increase going? I was at 40mg when at my best. But those digestive side effects never really went.

Good luck keep me posted even if by PM.

T. xx

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Thanks for reminding me to take breaks. In southern NJ today it is unbelievably nice weather for first day of Feb, sixties & sunny. I popped out just to stand & soak up the sunshine for a moment. Someone in another office (different employer) joined me and we discussed how unfair it was to be stuck inside four walls on a rare nice winter day like this.

So thanks again, that little break does help.

I just upped Celexa to 40 mg last week - so far so good as far as digestion. Haven't noticed huge improvement yet but then until yesterday I was building anxiety about that annual review - probably real test of 40 mg starts now.

One odd thing, twice this week I screwed up on dates - i.e., last night I showed up right on time for my dentist appointment - only to find it was today, not yesterday! Thought they were wrong, came in and saw my note on my computer said Feb 1st - how did I convert that to Jan 31st in my mind, I'll never know. Then today I was emailing someone to confirm I would come to our Feb 7th riding club meeting (trying to force myself to be more social out of work) and closed the email saying see you Sat! Feb 7th of course being next TUES, my poor friends must think I'm losing it.

Anyway wondering if this sort of confusion could be Celexa caused. More likely the Ambien for my insomnia. Or just depression causing lack of focus...

Whatever I need to wake up! It was "funny" at the dentists, and that's only a few mins drive I wasted (not to mention I was relieved to have another 24 hours before having to get drilled!) but I could really embarrass myself if I screw up a date/time like this professionally! Got to focus, somehow through it all.... really appreciate those on these forums who wonder how to get out of bed or out of the house - operating in the "real world" requires such energy for a fatigued depressed person!!

At any rate - yeah guess I should just be happy they don't realize how fragile I am and keep trying to keep up my super-girl act long as I can.

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Hi Sanda,

My memory is terrible - I live off remindes on google calendar on my phone, I set reminders about everything and even schedule emails and texts, not sure what it is.

I had a moment recently where I opened the stationary cabinet at work to put a drink in ... instead of the fridge, I just laughed - so did everyone else.

I know citalopram can make you a bit like that, but everyone is different. It hasn't bothered me too much but I take extra measures so that it doesn't impacted my work. Diazepam on the other hand makes me really bad. Not so up on the zdrugs not taken many. But benzos affect my memory I turn into Doreen from Finding Nemo. Whenever I'm doing something important (i.e. important client, money stuff, proposals with figures, dates and times etc) I'm a real double check and triple checker just in case - not sure if it's my anxiety but we do a lot of emails in my current job but mostly internal.

And I know im not the only one that forgets to actually add the attachment! I re-read even if it takes a bit longer. I used synced calendars from my android and online, rather than just phone based reminders. It seems to work.

Yes outside is a must or break from office at least. I assume you are allowed breaks and even a quick meeting / chat outside with a colleague can make the world of difference. Especially in what you tell me of your environment.

Re 40mg it took 2 months for digestive to improve but never got better. So you're doing well! It's so different for everyone tho! I still find I have 3 stages of upping meds. 3-4 days to perk me up to wanting to live. 2 weeks to improvement, 4-6 weeks for full benefit, even when up and down on different doses.

Good luck on supergirl act :)

Keep me posted


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Don't hate the drilling, it's for you own good :cat_jumps:

I assisted with my first extraction today, and managed to hand out the right instruments. Haha, I was so nervous.

Anyways, hugs from a future dental assistant.

By the way, I got sick of the corporate BS too so now I'm going to school for dental assisting, almost finished.

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I have been lucky to have worked for an understanding company during my worst episodes. However with the workload and the fact it was a small company, it made it extremely difficult to take the time off I have needed.

The job was quite a senior one, with a lot of responsibility. I had a very strong career path and always received strongly positive feedback.

However the constant stress and pressure has just been too much for me and I have chosen to take a pay cut and a demotion with another company. I am hoping this will allow me to focus on my recovery and get that last final 20 per cent of myself back from depression that I have lost.

It was a big decision, as I could have pursued an upward trajectory within my old company. But I can't bear the thought of nev getting well, so I put my health before my career and money.

I start the new job in a week. Fingers crossed.

Thank you so much for posting this. I have just notified work this week that I cannot cope with the extra responsibility they recently gave me and need to back off in order to stay well. This was probably the hardest decision of my life. Like you, I've had to prioritise health over work despite a 'successful' career projection. Just so nice to know I'm not alone while I'm trying to accept this so thanks again for posting...hope your new job has helped keep you well.

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I feel dumb trying to contribute to this thread but here goes.... I can't stand my job even though it's not difficult, has very nice people, in an industry many would love to be in & is seen as somewhat glamorous and only two blocks from my home. It's simply not something I have even the remotest interest in doing. I took it out of desperation years ago being told by the president of the division it was a permanent support position. I was starting my third year of temping and in no position to say "no" to a steady paycheck and benefits. I was fine for the first three years, then layoffs had me placed in another division and while no more difficult, I started to falter, ultimately resulting in being spoken to by HR on a need for an improvement in my performance and a signed acknowledgement, which is the first step to them firing you.

D***. Just recounting this is affecting me...starting to stress.

This sent me spiraling (weight loss, crying) and ultimately back to therapy. My therapist strongly suggested I'm self-sabotaging unable to face up to how unhappy I am at a job that was once a cake walk I could do in my sleep. She's probably right, but in a double-dip recession and being of a certain age (over 40) and out of your field for years, finding job that's not just another trap is nigh impossible. Exploiting my friend, using contacts have resulted in nothing and now I have daily anxiety at work. Any time the HR person wants to speak to me my heart jumps, though I regularly help her out. I worry over every little detail because I know at the same time aware my sub-conscious wants me to screw up to get me out of there and honestly even though being laid off would bring another kind of crippling stress and anxiety, part of me welcomes it. When I read other people on these boards who say they don't work at all, even though their overall pain makes mine pale in comparison, I envy them somewhat. I can't even enjoy my weekends because I'm just doing a slow countdown to going back. I hurt my leg recently and have to go into physical therapy twice a week for it to heal properly and now I'm freaking they're going see it as me not being there when needed. I would so love never to go back...

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ArthurP I can so relate to everything you wrote. Also over 40 & clinging desperately to a job I need but don't want. Also sometimes envying people who have given up and are unemployed. But do you have a light at the end of the tunnel to fight for at least? That's what enables me to keep going, if I can hang on for 5 years I can back down to easier work with my house paid off. I did a spreadsheet listing every week left until that goal and each Friday I shade out one more week. That's how I manage it if things are getting rough, one week at a time. Figure I can handle almost anything for a week.

Also can relate to weekends being not such a great break when the work week is so hard to get through. But I'm going to try to get some of the small things done that I know will make me feel better. Exercise is one, taking my dogs for a long walk... takes tremendous will power to make myself do things I know will help, but so worthwhile.

Anyway I hope you either have a light at the end of the tunnel like me or can get into something less horrid. Some would say we're nuts to hang on to jobs that we hate, but in these tough times its better than than alternative - letting go as you say brings more stress & anxiety of a different kind. Just wanted to let you know you are not alone, I understand everything you are going through. Hang in there, hope things start to get easier for you.

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I was unemployed for a few years and accumulated some debt, not to mention I just had a physical injury (torn calf muscle, 5-8 weeks recovery) and desperately need health benefits so I'm going to be working for awhile.

And I am somewhat aware that the injury which prevents me from exercising like I used to is helping to create this down mood, but even even when I was healthy that horrible meeting took five pounds off me in days from stress. I'm trying to remain positive and keep sending my resume out there because depression is a struggle even if you have a job you like, but when the majority of your time awake is some place you don't like, it's even worse. I'm glad you've found a away to make it work for you. I'm trying to develop more creative activities outside of work so that I don't dwell on it when I leave.

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