Depression Possibly Triggered by Work? Ask Madeleine

Dear Madeleine,

I am terrible at my job and it is only a matter of time before I get fired. I don’t like any of my direct reports. I am supposed to do one-on-ones with them, but I find them so boring and whiny I can barely listen to them.

I am making errors because I can barely pay attention. My boss quit unexpectedly about three months ago and my motivation has gone downhill since then. I used to care and love coming to work, but everything has lost its luster. Help! I feel so…


Hi Lost,

I am so sorry. You sound very downtrodden and sad. You need to get immediate help. Go to HR and find out about any possible Employee Assistance Program that might be available. My company is tiny and there are posters for the EAP in the break room—I’ll bet your company has something that can get you at least a confidential session with a trained counselor.

It sounds like you are in grips of a serious depression, possibly triggered by your boss’s departure. This is not something to shrug off. This is serious, and you need to get help. Depression is fiendish and it makes you feel hopeless, but treatment can help. For more detail about depression try this website.

So the first thing to do is to try to get yourself some professional help. Next, call your best friend or a parent or a sibling—someone you can rely on to have your best interests at heart—and tell them how you are feeling. Get someone who knows you and loves you on your team right now and let them support you in getting the help you need.

Then make a list of things that would normally give you pleasure—playing with a dog, taking a bubble bath, walking in the woods, etc. Get outdoors. If activities that normally give you pleasure do not, then you are definitely suffering from depression. If they do give you some pleasure, all the better.

Please get help.



About the author

Madeleine Homan Blanchard is a master certified coach, author, speaker, and cofounder of Blanchard Coaching Services. Madeleine’s Advice for the Well Intentioned Manager is a regular Saturday feature for a very select group: well intentioned managers. Leadership is hard—and the more you care, the harder it gets. Join us here each week for insight, resources, and conversation.

Got a question for Madeleine? Email Madeleine and look for your response here next week!

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