{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Every wk I see at least 1 post abt struggles w/ mental health on fishbowl. Depression, anxiety, general feeling of hating life, racial, gender & age bias. WTF has this industry done to us & for what?", "post_id": "5d82676ae5b89b002105b21c", "reply_count": 33, "vote_count": 11, "bowl_id": "5565cfca8b2b9a03009acf57", "bowl_name": "Advertising", "feed_type": "crowd" }

Every wk I see at least 1 post abt struggles w/ mental health on fishbowl. Depression, anxiety, general feeling of hating life, racial, gender & age bias. WTF has this industry done to us & for what?

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To ACD1’s point, I don’t think it’s the industry. My husband is a PM in construction and recently watched a man cut half his arm off in a project he was leading. Talk about stress/anxiety in the workplace. Each industry has its own headaches, political madness, and issues you have to be aware of before going down that career path. Also, Fishbowl was built as an open forum, which gives those with mental healthy issues (or really any issue) the opportunity to be open and honest about it. So of course we’ll see it on here. Perhaps it’s their way of venting or even asking for help from someone who can relate. I vent to my husband about my woes at work but he can’t relate as people on here can. My troubles are babies compared to his when people accidentally cut their arms off on job sites.

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Well said.

It is rampant in the business. Years ago HR was taken over by finance who have little empathy. You become a liability. Any employer has a duty of care to make provisions for someone who is ill, but the person must get a medical certificate and consult an attorney to protect themselves. This will make finance pay attention. There are NGOs like UK time -to -change that are trying to raise awareness of this, and get people talking and remove the stigma. I’m an industry champion for this, but it’s an uphill battle.

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If I had to do it all over again – there's no way in hell I would have chosen advertising. Clients are bad enough - in addition to neutering agency cultures, all of the political bullshit, shrinking annual budgets, and colleagues who gladly stab you in the back to make themselves look better.

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Dan+Dave was already taken and putting my name on the shingle felt contrived and huffish

That raises a great question/concern. Some of the work is ours to do because we chose this profession. But. There are definitely things agencies can do to look out for our mental health. It needs to be more of a priority in our industry and every other one. Unhealthy bodies and minds are good for everyone involved. Brands, agencies and consumers alike.

likesmart

*Healthy bodies/minds...

I was completely gaslit at the last company I worked at. It took months for me to feel sane again. It wasn’t until I was out of there that I realized, yup, it was them, not me.

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It’s so awful isn’t it? And like you say, for what? No wonder so many of us are leaving.

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Cont’d. More of a rant than anything I guess. But we help brands sell shit nobody needs so they can continue to get rich - and yes, we can do quite well financially ourselves. At what cost though, to our emotional well-being and self worth? Every mental health/anxiety/depression post I see makes me question how worth it any of this is.

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great article!

To be fair, I’ve had depression/anxiety way before I got into advertising.

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It’s about the same. I figure I’m going to be a neurotic person no matter what, I might as well try to do something creative. I actually get way more depressed when I’m on straightforward projects.

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You think people in other industries don’t have mental health problems? People, have issues and problems regardless of their industry. Poor working conditions and asshole bosses and co-workers, can trigger or worsen mental health issues, but blaming the industry itself is pretty misguided.

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CD OP: Sorry if it came across that way. It’s not what I meant (or said). Unfortunately as most, I’ve worked in not so healthy environments: I’ve had periods when I was working 80 hrs/week. I’ve been yelled at, berated, sabotaged, treated unfairly, and have lost my job more than once. One of those times with a family to support. So I’ve had my share of anxiety provoking situations. Fortunately though I’m not prone to depression or severe anxiety (knock on wood). My wife is a far more anxious person than me. But her anxiety sometimes has nothing to do with what is happening. Sometimes everything can be great and she’s still super anxious. It happens with people with depression. Sometimes there’s nothing wrong on the outside, but people are falling to pieces inside. Changing industries will probably not be much help to someone with depression or anxiety issues. Proper treatment, therapy and support will. I’m not at all suggesting that we should just bite the bullet and work with assholes or on an abusive environment. Nobody should have to do that, regardless of industry. But these issues unfortunately are a lot bigger than just advertising.

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Absolutely not worth it, especially if you’re not one of those people who does “quite well financially.”

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