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Just reaching out
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lalalaurakins posted:
Hi,

My name is Laura. I'm currently really struggling with depression. It is really affecting me at work. I work at a call center. It is hard to concentrate, hard to get harrassed by angry people on the phone, hard to explain how I'm feeling, hard to even want to get up out of bed and come to the environment. It's sad because I previously really liked the job. I'm afraid to reach out to any of my supervisors because I'm afraid they won't understand and things will end up worse for me. There are no other positions avaibale here for me and I don't want to lose my job but at this point in my life and mental state it doesn't seem possible. Any advice? I'm still considering pulling my supervisor aside and explaining. I just don't know if it is worth it. I'm afraid they won't be as understanding about a mental illness as they would be a physical one. Thank you all in advance. It feels good just to type this out.
Reply
 
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bekelh responded:
Laura,
I know how you feel. I hate my job and dread getting out of bed every day and facing it. I totally understand where you're coming from. I feel like I'm stuck also.
I have been depressed off and on my whole life, but it's gotten worse in the last five years. I did tell my supervisor and sometimes I think it was a good idea and sometimes I don't. Overall it probably wasn't a good idea because I think I told them too much. It sounds like at this point you need to talk to them, however. Maybe it will work out for the best and maybe they will be understanding. Maybe just test the water. Let me know.
 
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lalalaurakins replied to bekelh's response:
I'm just worried because here in WV you don't need a reason to fire someone you can be terminated at any time for any reason and I know with the stigma that goes along with mental illness they could see me as too weak to handle this job. Which honestly I kind of feel right now. It would just be nice to have something of a support system here at work. But I'm afraid that's not what will happen.
 
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rohvannyn responded:
Hey there, I totally know how you feel. I used to have really bad depression and panic attacks because of work, which is the same type that you do.

A lot will depend on your situation, but you may find that your supervisors are more understanding than you think. It is their job to help you and most supervisors actually get a penalty or bad stats if they fire someone so they may not be eager to do that. If you explain that you used to like your job and just need a little support, they are going to want to help you. If your supervisor isn't easy to talk to, find one who is. Your openness will be better than them thinking you just don't care about your job.

Even if you can be fired for any reason, most areas take a dim view of firing someone for a medical condition if the worker is making a good effort and coming to work. Given the very real chance of legal trouble if they fire a worker for no good reason (people do sue companies for being fire even in at-will states), and the expense of training replacements, you are likely to find help if you speak up. If you don't speak up but your performance suffers, they may just decide you don't want to work there or are a behavioral problem.

Big internet hugs to you though. I know how it can be.
 
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lalalaurakins replied to rohvannyn's response:
Thanks guys. The manager I feel the most rapport with is on vacation. I think I will sit down with her on Monday when she gets back. It's really mostly things outside of work that are bothering me but it seems like when I am at work is the time it affects me the most. When I am outside of work my boyfriend does a wonderful job of helping me keep myself motivated to do positive things but when I'm at work and I take that screaming, cussing, hateful call I just fall apart, whereas before I would just brush it off and keep moving.
 
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bekelh replied to lalalaurakins's response:
I guess the question is how much longer can you hang on and cover it up without it affecting your job performance anyway? Like I said before I've been in the same situation and I think I had to tell them. I'm still here and they haven't fired me, (they can't) but I can definitely say I haven't been treated as well as I was before I told them.

Wish I had the answer for you.
 
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rohvannyn replied to lalalaurakins's response:
To both of you; a lot of it has to do with how you approach management. If you come off like you are making excuses, it won't go as well as if you seem like you are looking for solutions. Every manager worth their salt completely understands how hard and stressful call center work is. They should also understand it is hard to do your job if you have other troubles going on.

A few tips, while you wait:

Remember that no matter how mad a customer is, it's never personal. If you can project true understanding and empathy with whatever the customer's problem is, and seem like you are working with them to find a solution even if none exists, they won't get as mad in the first place.

If they get mad anyway, I always like playing the "kill them with kindness" game. The meaner they get, the sweeter I get. This either de-escalates them, or makes them really really mad and hang up! Thinking of it as a game can help take the sting out.

Whatever you do, try to keep it in mind the positive aspects of what you do. Try to see how you make a difference, help people, etc. That will help your self esteem and make the bad calls easier to deal with.

Hang in there!
 
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bekelh replied to lalalaurakins's response:
How are you today. Have you decided to talk to your supervisor?
 
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paddy285 responded:
HI,

I am struggling myself too. However I once worked in a call center and the enviroment for me was very depressing indeed. I spoke to my supervisor and as it went she was really nice and supportive... eventually I was able to leave...because I knew I had to to otherwise I would loose the job and me too. Im not sure if everyone would be so understanding as my manager ( to behonest beofre that she was really horrible... turned out she was going throuhg a similar problem)

I dont work there anymore .. but this weekend I did some very stupid things out of depression which forced me to take a day off ... In asking for the day off I ended up crying and being completly emtional with my boss. Last night was very diffcult and today I ended up going to hospital. The point is tomorrow I am most likely have to come clean to my boss ... Im totally dreading it !

However one thing that is keeping me with some hope is that something isnt right in my life and something needs to change. I guess these last days are forcing change upon me ... whether it be to loose my job or I might get some support at work... I live in a diffrent country and apart from my partner I have no one else to talk with.


I have been to rock bottom many times in my life before. Although I wish I could maintain a steady rise of self esteem I know that sooo many time I have thought my world has ended and it didnt... and that set me on the path to change... I hope this time I can maintain it ... but if not its gotta be better then this.

Keep safe and keep well, Your not alone x


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