I have worked in television and the media industry for 10 years now and I am currently questioning whether working in the industry is good for my mental health.
For those who do not know who I am or about me. I am/was (still trying to figure out) a Freelance Production Coordinator working for independent production companies and broadcasters. I have also set up a business helping those who find difficulty in getting paid work get the results they deserve.
I’m sure a lot of people dream about being in the position I am i in terms of my experience but I see it as a blessing and a curse and here’s why.
Working in television generally can be very stressful and pressurized due to the nature of the job and with my condition its twice as hard.
I have found that when working within the industry in my opinion its very rigid, in terms of creativity and atmosphere. With your team and colleagues its always nice to have a brief chat about general bits and bobs but generally speaking its very work orientated – and so it should be!
The point i am making is with someone, like me – who has a mental health condition its difficult to keep up with the requirements of a role in which doesn’t have the flexibility or the openness surrounding how you are feeling on that particular day or in general. I think mental health in general should be spoken about in every work atmosphere openly without the person who would like to speak about it be type casted, marginalised or seen as different.
I am not jumping to conclusions here but I have been told to leave a position in the past which I believe was due to this however I do not have any proof. I am sure I can blog about that particular situation in another blog post.
Also i’d like to add regarding disclosure in TV and any industry at interview you should be able to discuss this openly without being made to feel your chucking your career out the window. Because that is how i have felt on a number of occasions. I 100% believe I wouldn’t have got to where I have in the industry without me not disclosing and going with the flow. THIS IS WRONG and should be changed.
Every person within in TV or any other industry who is an employer should be trained around mental health conditions and how it affects people in an unbiased non judgemental way.
At the end of the day its now becoming a common thing with celebs like Kanye, Britney, Stephen Fry and others who have mental health conditions so why not be OPEN ABOUT IT ON THE OTHER SIDE.
We are just as talented and capable as anyone else, we just have a chemical imbalance in our brains that make us feel not as good as we should sometimes. Thats all really and the quicker people in general realise that and accommodate needs wise the world will be a better place for all.
On the other hand, there have been times I have gone into jobs and not felt the best and have decided to disclose my diagnosis and not returned since. This is due to shame and the sigma attached to my illness. The fear of being treated differently from anyone else. The look of uncertainty, and the closed body language says it all really.
The fight for equality is one that I feels right to me. Don’t get me wrong I know we’re not in the 1960’s but we still have a way to go.