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I work in mental health but colleagues don’t understand my depression

Jun 2nd, 2015 by

Sickness policies are punitive. One manager once told me: ‘You can’t be that ill, you’re just lazy’

It’s extremely difficult to describe the experience of depression to those who are lucky enough to have not experienced it. I’ve been a qualified mental health nurse for 20 years and have worked in various jobs in middle clinical and operational management. Yet, despite my clinical experience, I was ill-prepared for depression when it hit me in 2001. I ignored my increasingly difficult symptoms through shame until eventually I was overwhelmed. I broke down completely – and then of course everyone knew.

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