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Let’s discuss bullying in the workplace and depression.

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Bullying in the workplace happens every day.

If you saw someone being mistreated in the workplace, regardless of age, gender, social status, would you step in? What would you do to help this person?

Overdepressed, Stressed, and Under dressed.

If you’re ever feeling lonely, sad, stressed, or even depressed about work, or life, what do you do to mediate this feeling, and how does it help you?

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Oh boy, this is a huge thing for me. The plight of those with mental illness in the workplace is, in my opinion, abhorrent. I honestly feel like it's just another way for employers, managers, and colleagues to use another person as a means to feel powerful. I'm Autistic, bipolar, and struggle with PTSD, and always feel like I have to hide even the slightest twitch for fear of being raked over the coals.

At most companies, I've had a generally good experience. But the last job I had before becoming a freelancer become a corporate meat grinder that really damaged my opinion of medium-to-large companies.

At times when my depression gets really bad, there are a few things I try. But I find that my depression adapts to every technique I have, never allowing the same technique to work twice in a row. So all I really can do is ride it out. It is the worst feeling in the world to get there. The helplessness and hopelessness are life-sucking and awful.

I find that music, a tinkering project, and 4-hour long recordings of thunderstorms help me with mindfulness and staying calm. Another thing I've had success with is examining my body and mind's reactions to my illness. My brain seems to respond to doing it like this:

I picture myself: the creative, funny, intelligent, insatiably curious person that I am, in a room with a one-way window examining an animal (usually a wolf or tiger) that I allow to represent my primal, fight-or-flight self. Every time an uncontrolled thought comes into my brain, I imagine that feeling happening to the animal and I, as the observing scientist, must record the reactions of my "subject" so that I can help quantify the feeling and its effects.

It's really bizarre, but it helps me to take my emotions out of it, and simply observe what kind of powerful effects the chemicals caused by emotions have on a living thing. I'll continue to do this until the feelings pass, then I let the animal out and go play with it!

That kind of visualization of "duality" helps me to remain calm and analytical rather than panicked and emotional. It may sound a bit too strange for some, but it works for me!

 

I have always worked in a small startup environment and maybe I'm just lucky but I feel like it is harder to be toxic to each other when we know that we need each other.

I'm interested to know how to approach this situation though, because I can talk big but in the end unless I am put in this situation I would not know how I react, despite knowing better.

 

I just got out of a helpdesk job at a small startup, and it was a nightmare. I was there for a year (I was stuck in rural AL at the time & had literally no other options). I put on 90lb in one year from stress eating. 2 people hired after me quit within a few months. I spent the entire time being set up to fail, then humiliated when I inevitably failed. They didn't maintain their KB, so the KB contained a mixture of true and false information in almost every article. As the new guy, I had no way of knowing which was which. If I asked one of the senior staff, they'd bite my head off & tell me to use the KB. If I didn't ask, and screwed up, I'd get humiliated by the VP. On more than one occasion, I was actually reprimanded for following the instructions in the knowledge base.

The company was less than a dozen people, but the problem was one that I've seen before. Often, the worst person on a team is the senior tech and manager's pet who has been there forever.

I wish that I could say this to all managers: If you've got one or two loyal people who have been with your department for years, and you just can't retain new people, you might have a bullying problem.

 
 

First, if I saw it, I would speak up. Just highlighting bullying and pointing out that someone is acting like an ass makes a good first step. Bullying always makes the bully look bad, something bullies might not even reflect on or be aware of.

If highlighting is not enough, go to management and ask for their take on things. What is their view on bullying and what do they think is the right way to combat it. If they do not think bullying is something to fight and, rather, to condone, (yes, I've worked at a place like that) then what positive outcomes do they expect will rise from harassment?

Depending on the answer from management you most likely will know what kind of company you're working for and can make your own choice on what line of work ethics to condone.

 

Whenever I feel mistreated by a company I go to the managers to complain about it, if it's fixed I stay if not there are, literally, hundreds of companies where you can work.

 

I'd assume that many bullies aren't even aware that they've crossed the line where it's no longer harmless jokes or unfriendlyness, but actually an active effort to make someone elses life worse.

 

Therapy really helps me manage all of that. When it's bad, I'll take time to myself but I'm lucky to have that privilege, really whenever I need it.

 
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Mike profile image
Full-time freelancer; Former Lead Engineer / Senior Management; speaker; 14 years in development; open for consulting and freelance opportunities.