Workplace stress – Marijeta from Montenegro – #mentalstories

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I was struggling with mental health problems four years ago, which was caused by mobing and stress at work.

As a person with acquired disability, at one point in my life, I was going through a long psychological therapy which was a part of my rehabilitation, after I survived two strong strokes. That experience made me very capable to resist many upcoming bad experiences, such as dealing with a bad employer and some health issues caused by it. When I accepted that job, the salary was not even satisfying, but I was really looking forward to new experience and hoping to improve related to a financial situation of that organization, which was promised to me during first interview. And, what was most important, I had the feeling of being in a safe surrounding, because it is an organization representing people with disabilities, led by them.

After a short period of time, the situation got worse. My superior, who is also disabled, did not like the fact that I respect my work time and finish with my work when the time comes. She was hoping that all of us will be dedicated to our work as she was and work overtime, regardless of the fact that my salary has not been increased. Each week we would have very long team meetings when she used to point her finger at our mistakes and praise herself. The pressure was getting worse and worse as the first half of the year of my employment was passing. As the result of that constant stress, I got a migraine and hormone disbalance.

I was telling for my increasing problems to my friends and close coworkers, but they could not give me any helpful advice, nor any particular help, because they all have been in the same or similar situations. My family was supportive, but I did not want to leave my job and be a burden for them. My friend, who is a lawyer, said that I cannot improve the situation with my income conditions, because I agreed in the beginning with the terms of employment.

The turning point was the situation when my former superior asked me about percentage of my disability- why is it “just 50%”, if I am not capable to do everything on time. I said that it was the result of my diagnoses and that working with 50% of physical competences is already hard as it is and that those percents would have been higher only if I would have some mental illness diagnose. “Are you sure that you don’t have some mental illness diagnose”she said pretentiously. And, becoming aware that the reason of all of my mental health problems at that time was my job and superior, I answered: Of course I am sure that I don’t have any of mental illness diagnoses. I was going through a long psychological therapy just to be certain that I will be able to live and work without psycho-social problems.

Shortly after that, I left that job. A couple of days after that, migraine disappeared, as I never had it. Hormone disbalance is still here, as a gift from my previous job.

I am glad that mental health is a topic that is being more discussed in my country and in Europe as well. I am also glad that I can share my story and hope it will help others who are in a similar situation to cope with it. Don’t be a slave of other people’s vanity- give your efforts to change any part of your life that just doesn’t fit to you, because you are the most important for your personal growth and well being.

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