Dinesh Divekar
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I work in a public sector bank in supervisory scale for past 4 years. I have been suffering from depression from past 10 years. These days I have been depressed a lot due unexpected diagnosis of a chronic illness. I had been on loss of pay for at least 6 months for health reasons during my job span. I wish to take leave stating the reason as depression. Can I be terminated for that? Can they question my efficiency and terminate me?
Any suggestions?

From India, Bengaluru
Dear member,

Since you work in public sector bank, your employers appears to be generous toward you in extending Leave Without Pay (LWP) for six months. Possibly in some private employment, you could have been removed by now. As far as leave on account of depression is concerned, you need to check rules for the medical leave.

Your depression has been going on for the last decade. What is the cure? How long will it go on? If you are working without pay then obviously it will impact your family life as well. Due to strain or strife in the family life severity of the depression could go up. Have you thought of that?

By reading your post, one get a feel that you are glorifying your depression or basking on it. Rather than asking for the remedy, your worry is about how to get extension of your leave, termination etc. Not a word about what would be the shape of your career after 10 years from now. If this spell of depression continues and god forbid, if you become unemployed, you could lose your self-dependence. You would be depending on others. Those who depend on others, are often considered as burden or liability. Have you thought of this social condition in our country?

Therefore, the first thing you need to do is stop thinking about your depression and get on work however, continue with the medication. People live with chronic diseases or even with disablement. Why they do not get depression? If you look at the life of military or para-military personnel, it is as good as hell. Yet smile on their face does not fade away because of the adversity!

For self-motivation, I recommend you reading Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. As you start building those habits, you will pull yourself out from the depression. The book has helped millions in improving their self-confidence and you will be no exception.

All the best!

Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Dear friend
You are lucky to be Employed in Public Sector Bank with good Salary/perks. It appears that, you have come to conclusion that you are depressed. I am of the opinion that you are Very Normal.You are asking Hypothetical/Future questions? This demonstrates that you are interested in this Life. Come out of self pity.Till your last breathe, you can contribute & make this life meaningful.Engage yourself in some charitable/meditation/prayer etc. Go around the town & have a look at people who are less fortunate & leading their life joyfully inspite of adverse circumstances.Focus on your work.
If it is a genuine depression, it requires proper Medication & counseling.6 Months leave is not a solution.being a Bank Employee you should be aware of Service Conditions & Hospitalization Scheme etc
Do your best, leave the rest" once you focus on your work, things will change dramatically. You seem to be complacent.

From India, New Delhi
I know of a very effective and caring Bangalore based Psychiatrist named Dr. Shyamala Vatsa. You may contact her at 9844157706.
I hope you get the relevant help and support you need and come out of your depression soon. All the best!

From India, Delhi
Thank you all for your suggestions.

Some of the commentator think that I am glorifying my illness. For them, I would suggest they should know the background and history before making such comments. No one can understand the pain and struggle of a depression ridden person unless he himself goes through it himself. I have been seeking help for it only for past 10 years and before that my teenage went just clueless trying to figure out what is wrong with me. Imagine the pain & frustration one goes through when one doesn't even know what is happening with him. I am from a rural part of the country where seeking psychiatric help is considered taboo. Please understand once you are a depression patient, even if you feel better at times, it is highly likely that you are more prone to it compared to other during adverse events of your life. Some of the commentators think I am on leave for straight 6 months. You have misunderstood it. I just wanted to let you know that I had been on leave on loss of pay on and off for many health issues for past 4 years. Lastly, my question still remains unanswered. I wanted to know that what is the termination policy of an organisation, particularly PSU on leave taken on grounds of mental health. For those who are worried about my well being, I really appreciate it. I am in touch with my doctor and getting help as required but like I said it's a constant fight. Some days it's easy other days just unbearable. I just want to know if I can take some time off on the basis of mental health ground. Sorry for my poor English. I hope you understood my query.

Thank you

From India, Bengaluru
Dear Friend,
It is better you check your Bank Leave Rules for more Clarity.You can check from Bank Union Personnel/Officers union.We can not predict about future course of action from your Employers.If it is a genuine case, i am sure Bank will permit you to take necessary medical Treatment.Your English was good, nothing wrong

From India, New Delhi
DEAR FRIEND, Normally in service period you are allowed 365 days LWP. However your increment(s) and other seniority is shifted accordingly. There are two routes for leaving the job:- 1. apply for VRS and get it accepted.It will ensure your terminal dues /pension etc. 2. resignation- it will be accepted with atleast 90 days notice . May affect your terminal dues -including pension/gratuity.
However please note in banking industry mental disability (on record ) may lead to serious adverse consequences. Hence avoid its mentioning and taking medical claims from bank. However please check your bank exit rules too; g.p.agarwal, lucknow 8009458901

From India, undefined
As per my experience, it is a taboo in Indian companies to talk about Mental Health and if you ask for medical leave pertaining to any mental reason then it is frowned upon. People don't realize that like physical ailments, people with mental ailments also deserve equal respect and opportunities.
Coming to your question. I think it is always better to tell another physical reason for leave like physiotherapy than mentioning mental health. In case you feel your management is open and supportive and won't form a bias then go ahead and share the actual reason.
I am a bi-polar winner... so I can empathize with you on a personal level. Feel free to call me in case you just need to talk. All the best, my friend.

From India, Delhi
Dear Friend
You are declaring yourself Mentally unsound without any expertise in MENTAL HEALTH. What else is required to prove you are mentally sound.
There is difference between stress/pressure of wortk and the so called Mentally sick.....etc....
However i personally suggest stop thinking and worrying.
Maintain good health.

From India, Hyderabad
There is so much of unawareness in our society regarding Mental Health. For example, the contents of sudhakarrao's post:
"You are declaring yourself Mentally unsound without any expertise in MENTAL HEALTH."
Dear Sudhakar, the original post does not say that the person is declaring him Mentally Unsound. He has mentioned a mental illness and he is in touch with his Doctor on a regular basis. I appreciate the intention of your post, but depression has various reasons. Handling stress on a daily basis is very different than coping up with depression. Yes, thinking positive helps but let's not come to this conclusion that all depression is caused by failure to deal with the circumstances in our life. A person can go through depression for other reasons like, hereditary and mental disorders too.
Can a person get well who has Diabetes by thinking positive? No. Similarly, in certain depression cases one takes longer, has to take medication and might need some time off his office.

From India, Delhi

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