Inkwell: Authors and Artists
Fawn Fitter (fsquared) Thu 21 Mar 02 22:28
Things like what?
Molly Wright Steenson (explode) Fri 22 Mar 02 06:49
I wasn't very clear -- I realize that the events of 9/11 are horrible and (I sincerely hope) one of a kind. But are there other instances where PTSD and anxiety and depression have hit en masse and affected the American workplace?
Betsy Schwartz (betsys) Fri 22 Mar 02 08:05
The Kennedy assasination perhaps? The stock market crash in '29? The space shuttle explosion?
Linda Castellani (castle) Fri 22 Mar 02 11:41
I just want to note that the past two weeks have simply flown by, and this has been a fascinating discussion. Don't let me stop you. I just want to thank Fawn and Beth for joining us, and Molly for leading the discussion into such interesting and thought-provoking territory. You are welcome to contine for as long as you like.
Beth Gulas (bethgulas) Fri 22 Mar 02 18:18
Let me jump in here with a couple of thoughts. First, Betsy raises some good examples of events. I personally remember the Kennedy Assassination of 11/22 because it's my birthday. Others to consider that are directly related to terorism are the ones all throughout the Clinton era. And let's not forget Oklahoma City. While I believe the "event" itself may not be the cause of one's depression, some of the symptoms or backlash from these kinds of events, may certainly contribute to one's depression and/or lack of sense of safety/security. If basic needs aren't being met (safety, security, etc), then depression would not be uncommon. I actually wouldn't be surprised if this whole Enron/Andersen fiasco isn't a solid contributor to employee depression. We're looking at thousands of employees who will be out of jobs, who were "duped", and who were once proud (might be stretching here) to be a part of those companies respectively. Now, they are trying to defend their own integrity as individuals and want to be disassociated with those who caused the downfall. Watch this carefully....it will be interesting to see how it unfolds. And, last but not least, thank you all for the opportunity to contribute to The Well and I look forward to tracking this discussion and jumping in as often as possible. It's been so much fun. Many thanks.
Eleanor Parker (wellelp) Sat 23 Mar 02 01:18
Thank you both for writing such a wonderful, and timely, book, and for answering our questions.
Molly Wright Steenson (explode) Sat 23 Mar 02 14:40
Fawn and Beth, thank you so much for being here and being a part of the discussion. I found the book to be really insightful and useful, and I hope that it's a success for you! Thank you also for having me as your interviewer. I'll keep coming back to this topic, so as (castle) said above, feel free to keep the discussion rolling. I'm happy to moderate it.
Fawn Fitter (fsquared) Sun 24 Mar 02 10:39
This has been huge fun -- thank you, too! For those of you in the Bay Area, we'll be on KQED Tuesday morning at 10am, being interviewed by Angie Coiro as the second half of "Forum" (the first half will be about the debate over whether psychologists should be able to prescribe antidepressants). Please listen -- we'll come back here afterwards for feedback!
Molly Wright Steenson (explode) Sun 24 Mar 02 10:41
Fawn, that's great to hear! I'll have to tune in online.
Angie Coiro (coiro) Mon 25 Mar 02 22:02
Yes, I just came here to interrupt this program for the same news flash! Here's a description of the show. For any of you who may be confronting legal issues over this, we do take calls. Our third panelist has legal knowledge specific to California - her organization is a subdivision of the Legal Aid Society. Late with this, but ... The Well's own <fsquared> is a Forum guest tomorrow! We're spending both hours on mental health topics. 9am Forum looks at the debate in the medical community over who can prescribe anti-depressants and other psychotic drugs in light of a recent New Mexico law that allows psychologists to prescribe medication. Guests: Dr. Charles Faltz, Director of Professional Affairs, California Psychological Association and Clinical Psychologist; Dr. Jack Lewin, Chief Executive Officer, California Medical Association and practicing physician 10am A look at coping with depression in the workplace. Guests: Fawn Fitter, journalist and co-author of "Working in the Dark: Keeping Your Job While Dealing with Depression" Beth Gulas, management consultant and licensed mental health counselor and co-author of "Working in the Dark" Pat Shiu, attorney at the Employment Law Center, San Francisco For those not familiar with the show: times are Pacific. You can listen locally at 88.5 FM; we also stream the show live over the internet, at www.kqed.org. There's also an online discussion board for the show.
Martha Soukup (soukup) Mon 25 Mar 02 23:05
Psychotic drugs, or psychoactive drugs?
Linda Castellani (castle) Mon 25 Mar 02 23:22
Thanks for posting that Angie!
Fawn Fitter (fsquared) Mon 25 Mar 02 23:29
Psychotic drugs! They need help! I am looking forward to this, knowing I'll be in Angie's good hands.
Molly Wright Steenson (explode) Tue 26 Mar 02 07:21
I'm going to listen in from afar, here in Chicago!
David S. Greene (dsg) Tue 26 Mar 02 14:37
I missed it, sorry.
Fawn Fitter (fsquared) Thu 28 Mar 02 21:35
If anyone wants to listen to our interview on KQED's Forum, the show has been archived on the KQED web site. It's streaming audio, so probably best enjoyed with a broadband connection, but even a dialup modem should be able to handle it. The Forum archives are here: http://www.kqed.org/radio/forum/previous/index.html Right now we're in the "this week" section, but in a few days we'll be listed by date (March 26). I'm told Angie made us sound pretty darn good -- check it out!
bitch slapped by the universe (sd) Fri 29 Mar 02 19:09
listening to the interview from atlanta, now. it is well worth the time even if you've read "Working in the Dark" by the way. I'm wondering now about an old idea from an early book on Prozac, "Listening to Prozac." The author posited that folks who couldn't give off the happy, chirpy persona that antidepressants supposedly provided might be at a disadvantage in the workplace. That seems ridiculous to me in light of having spent years trying to get to ground zero with various antidepressants in combination. I wonder, though, if this type of misunderstanding of depressed persons' needs and abilities contributes to the problems that folks with depression have in the workplace. Also, I've heard people describe their condition as being depressed when they are alone and having anxiety attacks when they are around other people. Do you have any advice for those of us who have anxiety attacks that are obvious to careful observers? I suppose that, if we don't lay the groundwork as you've suggested, we could be dismissed for falling apart under pressure. Anxiety attacks in my experience come up sporadically and for fairly short periods as rather than causing lost days or weeks. Have you heard of folks being less than honest about this sort of thing, saying that they are borderline diabetic and prone to insulin related shakes and such rather than enduring the stigma of having to be out to their employers?
David S. Greene (dsg) Fri 29 Mar 02 19:51
I'm listening to it right now. I love the Well AND the web!
Fawn Fitter (fsquared) Fri 29 Mar 02 23:46
Hmm. I don't know a lot about anxiety attacks, sd, but while they manifest themselves differently from depression, the *process* of dealing with them in the workplace should be pretty similar. That is, do what's necessary to keep them from happening, figure out what you can do to keep yourself together while they're happening, figure out if they meet the definition of a disability, and figure out how much and to whom you want to disclose that you have them.
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Sat 30 Mar 02 13:23
Interestingly enough, there are folks whose acquaintances think of them as calm, laid back... even though they see themselves as basket cases. So I figure the problem <sd> describes might be as much about dealing with self-perception as anything...?
bitch slapped by the universe (sd) Sun 31 Mar 02 06:45
i can see that, jon. i think the trembling and the sweats and the palpitations feel much bigger from the inside. meanwhile, i read back over parts of the book and can see where many of the suggestions apply. -finding a quiet place like an empty confrence room to gather thoughts, for example. and it probably isn't as obvious as open weeping.
Fawn Fitter (fsquared) Mon 1 Jul 02 11:43
I have a special request for the readers of inkwell.vue. Widely syndicated career columnist Joyce Lain Kennedy would like to do a column on depression in the workplace which would mention our book. However, she needs a reader letter to lead into the topic. If any of you have a question about depression and work, please send it directly to us at firstname.lastname@example.org some time in the next week. Beth and I will choose a question to send on to Ms. Kennedy. And you will have the satisfaction of knowing you're helping thousands of readers nationwide!
pooning tang; tanging the poon (viv) Wed 4 Sep 02 03:49
Fawn, are you still screening letters for Kennedy? Also, I just noticed that <drue> is responsible for your site design and didn't remember that twas always thus. Nice, drue!
Fawn Fitter (fsquared) Thu 5 Sep 02 09:02
Thanks for asking, viv -- no, we needed the letter by the 2nd week of July. Not sure when the column will run, but I do know we'll be mentioned soon in an upcoming "Working Wounded" column by Bob Rosner.
pooning tang; tanging the poon (viv) Thu 5 Sep 02 16:03
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