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Struggling with depression and working in management

Community Member

I don't even know whether this will help me at the moment but i think a part of me is trying to process my feelings. 


I work for a small business and the directors also happen to be my parents which in a lot of ways is fantastic. in others it can present challenges that you wouldn't normally deal with when working elsewhere. My family and i have alot of boundaries in place and treat work as work and when we leave then we talk as family. I have worked my backside off over the years with all of that in mind and have taken over my mothers role since she retired, managing the office admin side of things. One big issue i have however is that I have depression, PTSD and a huge issue with self worth. i guess i just want to see if there are other people out there who are managers or senior roles with mental health issues and how they manage to function in their roles appropriately? I feel like I cant do anything right and that I shouldnt be here doing this job even though i know i have the skills to do it. I feel like my mental health stops me being able to progress and work with others efficiently no matter how many strategies i try to employ

4 Replies 4

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Lemonysquash.

i went from office staff to team supervisor, with very little experience or support. I must have done ok because i was promoted to area manager after a couple of years. Still with very little support from my boss…thats when things began to fall apart. I was the accidental manager, the youngest in the office team and of the managers, felt like nobody respected the position and my opinions were worthless. Add loads of pressures with no support, low self esteem and let it all simmer, and eventually it will boil over. The recipe for disaster. And apparently all my fault.

I had a lot of time off work, i was demoted, a lot of colleagues that i thought were close stopped talking to me, or treated me different, still do.
i am still a manager, albeit one that has only an honorary title. I go in every day, do my job well, and try not to give a damn about those that turned their backs on me. I do all of this living with anxiety and depression, but i am slowly learning how to cope better each day, and have less and less f***s to give for trivial things.


Learn to say no, and stand your ground.


your mental health issues will make you feel that you cant progress. Thats what they do. But you said you have worked your butt off, that shows courage and perseverance. From your hard work you know the business, you may not think so but you do. Build some self confidence and you will benefit greatly, if not in business then at least in your own heart.


Family business is tough, and you are right to ser the boundaries. Work is work, work is not life.


Not Batman

Thanks for your advice and experience Not Batman (also ten points for a fantastic username). I had a rough night last night, my mind wouldn't stop racing and couldn't sleep until early morning but today i did stand my ground on an issue i was having and even though my body is taking a long time to destress, i did feel a bit better for it. I think the most recent of troubles that came up this year (effects my mental health has had on others wanting to approach me etc) has really shaken my trust in other people and I have pulled right away from socializing. I'm just doing the basic of interactions where i need to and for now just getting on with my job. I think it's going to take a long while before i feel comfortable to let down my guard again. 

Likewise on the username. I love an old fashioned lemon squash 🙂

i hate those sleepless nights, worrying and racing thoughts. I really need my sleeps otherwise I'm a mess. Have you tried any sleep stories, white noise, or ambient noises? I use a couple of apps with headphones from time to time, snd they have helped to get a better sleep.


well done for standing your ground. Yes it does take time to trust again, but this will come with time and effort. Just remember that baby steps will still get you through a marathon.


did you want to talk about some of the issues you've been facing?


Not Batman


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Lemonysquash


Not_Batman offers brilliant enlightening advice based on personal experience. Sometimes I think managing comes down to how to manage people, especially the depressing and anxiety inducing ones. What can definitely make that a super hard task can involve being raised to be a people pleaser. So, with the people pleaser in us well and truly exercised and fully alive in so many ways, the inner dialogue (from the people pleaser in us) can sound a little like 'You can't say that. You can't tell that person they're depressing you or stressing you. What will they think of you, plus how are you going to lead them to feel if you say something? What kind of person makes someone else feel bad? You have to be nice, pleasant'. You could say the people pleaser in us would perfer us to be depressed and stressed rather than upset anyone. It can definitely become one hell of a depressing facet of self, that's for sure.


Might sound a bit funny or strange but one of my favourite facets of self is what I like to refer to as 'the intolerant cow' in me 😁. She's a feisty one at times and has only come to life in the last 2 or so years (I'm a 53yo gal). So, took a while. This part of me dictates the people pleaser in me takes a back seat every now and then. For example, if someone was to say 'You're hopeless. Why can't you get it together?', bamm, I can feel the intolerant cow in me come to life (through rage). Inner dialogue becomes 'You gonna tolerate that sh** from them? You gonna tolerate that depressing degrading comment or are you going to stand up for yourself?'. Should add here that it's my 'inner sage' that holds the reigns on the intolerant cow in me, otherwise she'd take to certain relationships with a flame thrower (burning bridges without a second thought).


If you were to channel the sage in you, it may suggest 'Your mum managed from when the business first started, when it wasn't so demanding. She gradually learned the trade through low level stress and low level challenge. As the business developed, she gradually developed her skills at the same time. You, on the other hand, have been thrown into a fully developed highly demanding business'. Did your mum come to manage what may now actually be a 2 person job, a job you're doing on your own? Did she come to master skills in emotional detachment in that job? For example, if someone said to her 'I need this done now', did she feel their demand and then emotionally detach from what she felt, so as to simply say 'Sorry, no time. Come back later'? Is this something you've spoken to her about, regarding the less obvious skills she developed when it came to managing? Have you asked her how she managed it all? By the way, 'I just did' is not a valid answer and it's of no help whatsoever.


Have faith in yourself as you look for skills to develop. Whether it involves the skill of emotional detachment (in a positive way), the skill of developing and channeling the dictator in you ('Come back later!'), the skill of getting a better feel for or sense of exactly what's depressing or stressful (developing your senses), there can be dozens of skills worth wondering about. We can be doing an amazing job under incredibly stressful and depressing conditions and while we can be struggling horribly under such conditions (been there, done that), we can't deny the truth...we're amazing, given the circumstances. I imagine if I was to witness you in action, I'd be truly amazed while probably saying to you 'There's no way on god's earth I'd be able to do what you do. It'd just be way too stressful'.