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Depression is real

29 May 2013, 12:11

A reader wonders if people will ever stop stigmatising depression and learn to accept the fact that people do sometimes need to take sick leave because of it.

I’ve had a few sick days during the last couple of weeks. I didn’t take off from work but came to the office and carried on.

No, I’m not some martyr. You see, the type of sick I’ve been feeling isn’t the type where you can take the day off.

Yes, I realise it’s possible for a doctor to book you off from work for psychological reasons but do you really want him to?

I don’t and maybe I’m silly but…“Hey boss, I’m struggling to get out of bed to come to work…no, my back is fine…I haven’t broken any bones…no, it’s not a migraine…?!?!?!..I’m depressed.”

Queue office gossip.

There is still some major stigma attached to depression or any other psychological illness. You’re bound to be called crazy or a loony, and taking the day off might even, around the water cooler, translate into you’ve gone to the nuthouse. Sigh.

Isn’t your brain an organ too? Why is it fine to call in sick if last night’s sushi is trying its best to escape through every orifice in your body BUT when your brain is feeling a little more grey than usual you have to go to work?

It’s unfair. Seasonal Affective Disorder, depression, bi-polar disorder or any other psychological or mood disorder can be just as debilitating – or even more so – than upchucking vrot kos.

I’m not talking about any ol’ bad day here – the kind everyone gets every now and again where you’re not in the mood for work because it’s cold outside and your bed is so nice and snug and warm and your cat is curled up behind your butt and it’s just so damn cute…

I’m talking about the bad days people who suffer from mood disorders get. You know? The “I’m useless at life, I’m a waste of space who won’t ever accomplish anything and should just die” kind of bad day.

There is the odd chance that actually getting up and going to work will make you feel better but something will most probably happen that will confirm your feeling of uselessness. Working when you feel like a complete failure isn’t fun ­- I would much rather stay in bed and sleep through it.

Unfortunately, until people accept that your brain can get sick too and that it doesn’t mean you’re going to go all Psycho slasher film on them, I’ll have to drag my sorry ass out of bed and go to work.

Miss_Muse is a Women24 reader and blogs on Women24's blogging platform. You can read more on her blog here.

Should depressed people be allowed to take an indefinite amount of sick leave? What are your thoughts on this?

- Women24

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