Last time we talked about what depression is and I gave an account of how I came to discover it was part of my life. So what’s next? Here are some situations to consider. You will note that in every case, the most extreme positions – in either direction – is something to be avoided.

Workplace Reality

I mentioned I was not one for crying. I’m not one of those “men don’t cry” types. It’s just not a form of expression I use very much. You would certainly never catch me shedding a tear in the office. So what if 8 out of 10 people surveyed admit to crying at work at least once?

In avoiding the most extreme answers here, applying the “absolutely never show any emotion of any kind at work or you are a sniveling weakling that needs to either suck it up or go home” is too extreme on one hand, while regularly and/or frequently experiencing emotional breakdowns will destroy even reasonable expectations of productivity.

Culture Issues

In the USA, the idea that someone might actually cry while inside the walls of an office is still considered reprehensible by most companies, especially for men. That long-standing machismo is still around. There is still a genuine belief that if you are a guy and cry much at all, you’ll be labeled “weak,” “girly,” or with some epithet around sexual orientation. And that’s just on the playground basketball court. It’s even worse in the workplace.

There is some social pressure to ease up on this mentality, but it will take some time to realize significant change. If the office has a man that cries at a traumatic experience, and can then recover and get back on track fairly quickly, that will help. At any rate, if you’re in a particularly acute situation and you break down, it’s not the end of the world – for you, your co-workers or your company.

Humor Treatment

Everyone knows how silly I am. I can safely make a joke or two about my condition, just as I can with my physical self. When I meet people who say, “I’ve seen you before,” I usually answer, “Well, I’m pretty hard to miss.” If depression is a conversation topic, and I’m having a good day, I might make an exaggerated head drop and statement of “oh, that is SOOOO depressing!”

PLEASE NOTE: I only do this to myself. Everyone deals with their situations in their own way, and not many are open to mild ridicule. So I try to remain as sensitive as possible to others. I acknowledge for myself that I’m always open to self-ridicule. Again, avoiding extremes is key. An occasional self-deprecating joke is fine, while over-use indicates there may be deeper issues.

Other treatments include medication and therapy, as well as some less-explored options like meditation. For those that practice spirituality, there is plenty to explore there, which we will do in Part III.

For me, it’s a good thing I’m focusing my Virtual Assistant business on content writing. I find writing very therapeutic, even if the topic isn’t anywhere nearly related to mental health. If you have writing needs, click here and let’s talk.

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