232. Blue Lies

It is 2023 and I still feel like it's taboo to talk about mental health at work. How many of you actually say that you need to work out some issues with anger or that you're too depressed to get out of bed or that you suffered an anxiety attack?

At least for me, I always come up with something... migraines, pets, household issues, family issues, family with household issues, pets with migraines or any permutation thereof. Thankfully I'm currently really healthy so I can use some of these excuses.

I wonder what great people in history used as excuses in the past? Did George Washington miss drills to 'tend to his cherry tree'? Did Alexander the Great have elephants mysteriously needing vet appointments before council meetings? Did Genghis Khan use Kublai Khan being sick as an excuse before a raid?

Probably not. 

The sad thing about suffering from a mental health issue, for me at least, is that there are but a few examples of successful, laudable people who endured and overcame their issues. I'm hoping that a society more open about their barriers and the paths to wellness will change that.

To be honest, one of the reasons I'm afraid of being completely honest at work is that I'm afraid I may get pity. I don't want pity. I'm very proud of who I am, who I've become and who I will be. 

My mental health issue is depression and it comes in the form of  a voice that keeps telling me I am not good enough, I don't deserve what I have and that I will lose it all. It downplays accolades and hyper-focuses on the negative parts of constructive criticism. If I let depression lull me, I become inactive, morose and negative. It has been with me as long as I remember and it's not caused by drinking too little water, not going to the gym, Jesus, or a distant part of my psyche that I left unattended. It comes and goes, and thankfully it's gone a lot more these days. My mental health issue is mostly under control. 

There still are, however, moments in which I need space and time to remember that depression is a deceitful mistress or to recover from her temporary grasp. As it stands now, my employer probably thinks that my pets suffer from chronic migraines instead.

Extra Panel


  1. Don’t kid yourself, arguably the best president ever suffered from what one can only assume is clinical (and somewhat debilitating at times) depression. Push through, and lean on folks when needed.

    When needed, they’ll lean on you too.


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