On this week’s show I talk with Lisa, who shares two dramatically different stories of telling co-workers about her depression. Her experiences highlight the contrast between a work culture that is supportive and one that stigmatizes, and all the consequences that has for the employee.
This week I talk with therapist and former orchestra conductor Susie Melnick about how depression has affected her work in both professions. We talk about the event that set off her first episode of major depression, one that she struggled with on and off for decades, and about the coping strategies that she used, until finally deciding she needed to change careers. We then discuss what it’s like to be a therapist while dealing with depression, and how her experience can be an asset when working with people who have the same illness.
This week we begin a new series on depression in the workplace. My first guest is Geoff Smith, who heads LL Bean’s Employee Assistance Program, or EAP. We talk about what an EAP can do to destigmatize depression within a company, and why it’s in every employer’s best interest to identify and help workers who may be struggling with it. Geoff describes some of the reasons why workplace depression is rising worldwide, and the elements that make a job more or less likely to bring on depression.
My guest this week is researcher Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc, who studies the impact of stigma on adolescents. Her research has demonstrated that when schools are made safer for LGBTQ kids, they are safer for everyone, including the largest group targeted by anti-gay bullying: straight boys.
We continue our series on hidden feelings this week with two stories about guilt, the kind we feel when we believe we didn’t do enough at the end of a parent’s life. We’ll hear from people who were troubled by the way they failed to show up for their parents, and discuss the process of finding relief from that guilt.