Is Your Mental Health Affecting Your Work Performance?
Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine if you have some form of mental disorder that needs attending to and what you can do about it.
According to the World Health Organization, one in four people will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives.
Unfortunately, the social stigma attached to mental illness makes it difficult for people to discuss their conditions. In fact, it’s such an uncomfortable topic for some that they could go through their entire lives never recognizing that they even have a disorder, let alone seek treatment for it.
Left unchecked, mental disorders can affect every aspect of your life – from your physical health to your relationships to your job. If you’re suffering from some form of mental illness, it could be the cause for why you’re underperforming at work.
Each year, thousands of employees go on disability for work-related stress triggered by existing mental health conditions. Companies can no longer afford to ignore the cost of mental illness. Reprimanding low productivity due to underachieving employees only aggravates the situation, leading many employees to not declare the real reason they go on leave. And when they come back, the cycle repeats.
Together with your employer, you can avoid worsening a condition that can be managed when given the attention and respect it demands. Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine if you have some form of mental disorder that needs attending to and what you can do about it:
Do I have difficulty interacting with others?
There’s a difference between being naturally shy and stressing out over having to talk to people. Whether it’s making small talk during breaks or mingling at a corporate event, interacting with other people is often a necessity of any job.
Ask your manager to pair you with someone who can introduce you to people in social situations. The buddy-system at the office and large corporate gatherings may help you slowly adjust to engaging with more people.
Am I incapable of ignoring environmental distractions?
If you find that you have a hard time zoning out distracting sounds, smells, lights, or other stimuli in the office, ask for permission to wear earplugs, earphones for listening to ambient music, or ask your manager if you can transfer to a quieter area in the office.
Do deadlines give me anxiety?
If you have trouble managing your time, you should ask your boss to coach you on how to prioritize your daily tasks. Big projects can be overwhelming and guiding you on how to break it down into smaller, more manageable assignments might work best for you.
Am I overly sensitive to criticism?
Many people don’t handle negative feedback well. However, if you feel that you are being personally attacked and cannot recognize that the criticism is constructive, ask HR to be present during your coaching session. Having another person in the room who you feel is unbiased may ease you and ward off paranoia.
Do I handle change well?
While some people embrace change, others fear it. Don’t feel as though you are asking for special favours or are a burden when you ask your employer to give you extra time to learn new tasks or get used to new processes or policies.
Mental disorders can be prevented, treated, and even cured. However, a lack of urgency or misinformation can delay giving people the attention they need. If you suspect that someone is struggling to manage their illness or you feel that you suffer from some form of mental disorder, take proactive steps towards opening the discussion with the people who are trained to help manage it.
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