Due to severe depression I’m currently taking a leave of absence (1 year). It’s been almost half a year now and I haven’t done anything meaningful. I planned to work full-time and volunteer in my spare time but maybe because of my depression, I’ve been so reluctant and incapable to do anything. I feel worthless and am afraid that future employers or colleagues would question why I waste my time. I feel so exhausted to cover up my depression.
It sounds like you’ve had a tough time of late. Depression can certainly get in the way of pursuing our goals, as it can affect our motivation level and skew our world view so that many things seem hopeless, including contributing to doubting ourselves and our abilities. Depression can also reduce energy levels, or put another way, make you feel more tired.
Under the weight of symptoms such as these, I am not at all surprised that you haven’t felt able to take up working or volunteering. The fact that you have posted this question though indicates that you haven’t given up and want to see some positive change in your life.
Perhaps one way to move forward from this point is to try and focus what you can do from here on.
A good first step might be to speak with a counsellor or a doctor about your experience? They can make an assessment and give you some treatment options including ongoing counselling and /or medication. You might also want to learn more about depression and what helps by going to our website.
When your symptoms have abated somewhat, you may wish to seek advice from the Careers and Employment Service regarding how to best communicate to future potential employers about your leave of absence in your resume and interviews.
Every year many students need to take leave of absence for severe mental health problems and then successfully pursue their life goals such as study and work. In preparation for your return to study after your leave of absence, it could be helpful to read “Resuming Your Rightful Place – A Guide for University of Melbourne students returning to study following an absence”.It is a very positive step to ask for assistance and best wishes in the following steps you take in the process of recovering your mental health.