Health is personal. Mental health is personal. Yet, both are always professional too. Think about it. A diabetic doesn’t leave his diabetes at the door when she goes into work. If you broke an arm, you would wear the cast at home and we’d wear it at work as well. So, it stands to reason that we don’t leave our mental health issues at home either. They accompany us to the job.
Fun! Feisty! Fabulous! guest Maggie Georgopolous shares her story. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 17, she climbed the corporate ladder in the male-dominated field of mechanical engineering. Yet she did so while keeping her disorder a secret. Her best friend didn’t even know.
During our conversation, she admonished me for saying that she ‘suffered’ from bipolar disorder. It’s something she has and something she lives with, but it isn’t anything she suffers from. According to Maggie, mental illness is just part of who we are. Stephen Hawking wasn’t any less brilliant because he was confined to a wheelchair.
And you know what, she’s right. I am a writer and I live with clinical depression – just like Stephen King, Mark Twain, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tennessee Williams, Ernest Hemingway and even J.K. Rowling. These writers did more than suffer, they created timeless literature.
Whether deciding to share a diagnosis with a boss or coworkers or keeping it to yourself, the stigma around mental health in the workplace is all too real. Maggie and others educate and inspire people to end the common thinking that mental health is synonymous with weakness.
We had a great conversation and Maggie has a great story. Give it a listen.
Listen to Mental Health at Work
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