Mental well being needn’t be an unthinkable theme

Every day when we go to work sometimes we will stumble with the head of our office (unless we are one); we see leaders in the news and medias and shall we say well known people with successful personalities.

Important and powerful figures seem to display certainty and balance; they appear as example of victorious careers.

But when they are not in the limelight, my guess they too will feel the weights of work and mental extremes required to induce there begin to uncover themselves.

Steve Jobs regularly shown characteristics of bipolar disorder, he was found fluctuating between minutes of joy and rage. 

Sandberg of Facebook also reveals her emotional struggle which influence her mental well being.

It is our upbringing that separates us; we will always assume that if someone or somebody is the leader then he or she is to be psychologically different from us.

We will not discuss the emotional well being of them openly or to challenge their ‘weaknesses’ as it is a too-sensitive subject.

I use to say to my colleagues most ‘head of departments’ are mentally disturbed or having mental illness.

My saying is not without proper thinking or observation as ‘no one mentally healthy person would want others to be hurt either physically or emotionally’.

Study in science shows that the higher your position in workplace the more pressure you will attain.

Normally, before a person heads a position they are nice and good, but once they changed to higher position, narcissism, over-optimism, fear, anger and depression overcome them.

People who gains rewards of career and monetary will open the conduits to mental well being issues and the coming about shame that still encompasses them.

One study seems to show that there is a strong link between job authority and depression.

According to the study, women with job authority (control over others’ work) are more depressed than women without while men with job authority are less depressed than men without.

However, some studies have shown that men under report depressive symptoms, often due to differences in gender role socialization.

It can be said that men are more mature in handling problems and can handle more than women.

Studies also show that leaders are often expected to have a thick skin to withstand the cut-throat nature of big transactions...

No one leaders or head of departments will admit they are weak or vulnerable; though they are under stress or depression they will never admit them as it will be seen as their weakness.

Indeed, sometimes some of our negative emotions can be turned into positive drivers. But the answer lies in properly acknowledging and addressing the need for more open acceptance and discussion of mental health in leadership positions.

Often many of us are ashamed of admitting that we are depressed and under stress. We actually don’t need to suffer this alone.

We need to understand that depression is common and can be treated. It is not a character imperfection. Times are changing thus we need to clear the minds of too much stigma in our society about mental health issues.

If we are happy, we would love to work. Work is important to some but we should not be attached to too much work. We need to de-stress ourselves by making friends, regular exercise, enjoy healthy foods and take time off for holidays. We need to maintain a life balanced.

As leaders or head of departments, you do need to keep workplaces healthy and happy. You do need to manage your own mental health successfully and should be responsible for creating an environment that helps to end the stigma of mental health in the workplace.

Often ‘leaders’ are poor in educating themselves. They are shy enough to admit their shortcomings. They would not want to be educate on positive mental health in themselves, what more to allow colleagues to gain knowledge on what certain situations look like.

Overworked employees are often less productive and more stressed, and these issues compound over time. Businesses are actually more efficient and effective when they uphold values around work-life balance. Thus, leaders should not uphold work-life balance.

Being a leader or head of department could be an intense one but there’s no shame admitting you do have mental illness or problem too. Though it’s quite ashamed to many but one need to ensure the problem can be cure and clear up. Mental well being needn’t be an unthinkable theme.

Azizi Ahmad is an educator Mon, Jan 14, 12:10 PM


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