I make sure I set clear expectations

Bharath on how transparency and clarity helps him tackle challenges at work

White Swan Foundation

In 2012, things were tough for me. I wasn’t able to manage all my tasks. My boss initiated a casual conversation in which he asked how I was coping with the pressure. I hadn’t explicitly told anyone that I had a mental illness at that point of time. And I took this conversation as a chance to speak about it, and tell my boss that there was no short-term fix. It was received well. My workload decreased, and I was given the space to do things to help me cope -- whether it was going on a holiday or working from home.

I’ve been fortunate to have supportive colleagues. I don’t suffer from deep depression anymore, but I still have my ups and downs. I work in a small organization with a collaborative working environment. So I make sure I set expectations clearly, particularly when it comes to tasks and deadlines. I’m also very open. I tell others that I am a sufferer and can empathize with them.

“The work culture of the place you choose to work in is very important. It’s equally important to tell people you love—whether family, friends or colleagues—about your illness.”

Bharath is a blogger and a COO of a startup in Bangalore.

This is part of a series on returning to work while coping with a mental illness. You can read the rest of the series here.

White Swan Foundation