I recently got signed off work for two weeks due to stress induced anxiety and depression, which I took with a pinch of salt and stayed off, no matter how bored I was, how much I felt like I was missing out and I felt so guilty that people were having to pick up the work I had left behind at work. I have suffered with issues with my mental health for around 4 and a half years now; since I started my GCSEs, I have always found stress difficult to deal with and it always ends up in increase anxiety levels and the depression just runs alongside everyday life and has done for a while.
The recent Germanwings tragedy should make us all realise how crucial it is for employers to be more vigilant about mental health issues and how they can be treated through work and what they can do to help.
What happened over the Alps should be a lesson to everyone. Employers and colleagues needs to know when someone is acting differently or has taken a lot of days off at one time for no reason. That person might need help but may be too afraid of the stigma attached to mental illnesses to speak up.
We also need to be more open and accepting about mental illnesses as a community. In some cases, we may as well be back in the time when people with mental health issues were locked up and did not receive any treatment or social interaction. They were just left to suffer which happens with people today because of the negativity surrounding illnesses like depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.
If you feel off for a prolonged period of time or start locking yourself away; get help. You may have to trawl through doctors who have no idea what they are talking about but you will find someone who can help you, even if it's just a friend who is open to you talking about everything you are facing. This does get better eventually.