I know I’ve written about presenteeism in the workplace, but I’ve recently been thinking about my time at CNN and how I survived a non-stop, pressure-cooker of a workplace.

I was medicated, which allowed me to go to the office every day, but I vividly remember being in tears every morning at home and talking to my doctor’s nurse, who kept reassuring me it would get better, that my current mood was not permanent.

And that is hard to remember when you’re spiraling down into the black hole.

But remembering that it will get better is essential to recovery.

Many people begin to lapse into presenteeism without any warning signs. Just think of people you know who have bad allergies and take lots of decongestants or other allergy meds. Do you think they are operating at peak performance levels? Or someone who is constantly diving into TUMS without seeing a specialist to find out WHY they need TUMS in the first place.

My point is simple: every time we self-medicate, for whatever reason, we aren’t at our best.

If we become self-aware and take better care of ourselves (by seeing a doctor instead of ignoring a problem with over-the-counter meds) we’ll not only feel better, we’ll be able to live fuller lives.


Watch my new video about the cost to companies of ignoring mental health in the workplace.