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Can people with mental illness succeed at work ?

Many people have the misconception that those who suffer from mental illness are not ambitious, motivated, clever, or talented. It is said that they are incapable of coping with stress, that they are ill, and that they even pose a risk to others. All these ideas are false, as is the widespread perception that people who suffer from mental illness are unable to hold jobs.

Sadly, a combination of these beliefs and a dearth of assistance causes a significant number of individuals living with mental illness to be unable to hold jobs!

Employment is something that may be, should be, and in most cases, is required of those with mental health challenges. When you have issues with your mental health, maintaining a healthy work-life and personal-life balance may be challenging. There are strategies that may assist you in coping with the pressures and challenges you face on the job, even if keeping a job and performing some job-related responsibilities might be challenging. It is not impossible to have a successful professional life despite the presence of a mental condition.

Keeping a job is essential to your recovery. People with mental problems may succeed, no doubt, but with the correct support. People with mental problems may succeed, no doubt, but with the correct support.

People who suffer from mental illness may also achieve success. You don’t have to give up your job because of mental illness. There is a possibility that having a mental disorder is related to having a successful career in a range of fields, but this is just a hypothesis. For example, bipolar disorder affects a large percentage of the world’s most successful businesses. Some people with bipolar illness are recognized for their creativity and ingenuity.

Moreover, not everyone with a mental disorder is on the brink of collapse. It’s common for individuals with mental health issues to be employed, and you wouldn’t know it from looking at them from the outside!

Focusing on mental health and wellbeing in the workplace should no longer be only a business bonus as we adapt to life after COVID. An employee’s ability to perform at their peak has become a need.

Whether you’re the CEO or an intern, everyone in the office is under continual pressure to improve and go ahead, which may cause stress. Even prior to the epidemic, professionals were already feeling the strain of constant pressure to succeed. 

 Understanding Stressful Situations  

We’ve all heard that when we’re under pressure, our bodies enter what’s known as “fight or flight” mode, which prepares us to either stand and fight or run away. When this occurs, our bodies go into a state of readiness in case we are in danger. When we are stressed, our nervous system secretes specific hormones, which in turn raise our heart rate, blood pressure, and the pace at which we breathe. Even while we need some stress in our lives, our bodies were not intended to deal with the high levels of stress that we experience daily.


Up until quite recently, mental health was a taboo subject, making it one that no one wanted to discuss. But in the modern, more stressful world of today, there is a growing inclination to embrace it, especially in the office. The relationship between a person’s body, mind, and medication must be investigated in order for them to attain their maximum potential at work. This is particularly important if your objective is to attract, employ, and keep high-performing team members on your staff.


Seeking Treatment and Participating in Activities That Promote Self-Care


If a medical professional advises you that medicine is the only treatment choice, keep in mind that there are other treatments available to you, and ultimately, it is your decision as to which therapy you would want to pursue. You may get started by scheduling an appointment with a therapist, who will likely diagnose you and devise a treatment strategy for you. This may include individual treatment, group therapy, or family therapy; support groups; changes in lifestyle; medication; or all of the above.


Engaging in a stress-relieving activity that also brings you pleasure is a terrific way to take care of yourself while you’re dealing with a stressful situation. You could choose to go out for a special meal, play the role of a tourist in your own town and explore, engage in a creative endeavor, or just go for a stroll and carry your camera.

 You may give yourself a push by completing a task that you’ve been postponing or by challenging your intellect in a fresh manner. This is another approach to giving yourself a lift. This may also help one feel more confident in themselves. You may get lost in a crossword puzzle, read anything on a subject that you wouldn’t typically, or organize a trash drawer or a closet to pass the time.  

Maintaining healthy relationships with other people is an essential component of self-care. This may help you on a spiritual level, provide you with mental and emotional serenity, and also build your physical strength. Participating in a support group, having a conversation with a friend over the phone, going for a walk or drive, putting your thoughts down in a diary, or just meditating are all examples of these types of activities.


Managing the Pressures of the Workplace

It may be difficult for you to focus given the numerous distractions that are all around you, such as the chitchat of your co-workers, the roar of the printer, and any other stimulation that may divert your attention away from your task. Selecting a workstation that is isolated from distractingly noisy locations, such as the breakroom, may help you concentrate on your job.  

Promoting Achievement at the Place of Employment


You may more easily integrate into the workplace with the assistance of a mentor, who can also act as a guide to the ins and outs of the profession, as well as the unwritten rules and the things that you should concentrate on and avoid. A mentor is often an experienced employee who has worked at the organization for a significant amount of time and is prepared to provide advice and guidance to newer employees. Your mentor may provide you with feedback on how things are going as well as assist in inspiring you, which is especially helpful if you suffer from a mental condition.


Getting Back into the Workforce

  According to the findings of research conducted by Assocham in India, close to 43% of workers working in the private sector experience some kind of mental health problem while on the job. Additionally, a study conducted by The7th Fold 2020 with 509 working individuals across metros and various industries in India indicates that 36% are suffering from one or more sorts of mental health concerns.  

Nonetheless, keeping this as a priority, companies should raise employees’ awareness about the significance of stress management and mental health. The implementation of health promotion programs in the workplace has been shown to be effective, particularly when the programs address both mental and physical health concerns simultaneously.


For the obvious following reasons, the workplace is an ideal environment in which to foster a culture of health:


  • The communication infrastructure has already been established.
  • One central team is responsible for both the programs and the policies.
  • There are several social support networks accessible.
  • Incentives to encourage and support healthy habits may indeed be provided by employers.
  • Employers may utilize data to assess the impact of the program, as well as monitor progress.


Everyone has the power to strengthen their own mental health and sustainability, which is defined as the capacity to persevere in the face of adversity. When a person is receiving the best possible treatment, taking the appropriate medications, has a supportive work environment and atmosphere, and is also aware of what is going wrong and what needs to be worked on, there is no way for that person to fail, even if they are going through a mental rough patch.


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Kiran Khullar
Show full profile Kiran Khullar Practitioner

A cognitive hypnotic coach , a cognitive hypnotic psychotherapist, a soft skill trainer

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