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!
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