A number of years ago, I was told that one of my employees was suffering from fatigue depression. For me, it was a whole new concept that I had never heard of. What did that mean? How did it come about? Did I as an employer have any responsibility for this? Today this state has more names; burnout, fatigue syndrom, exhaustion - just to name a few. But still we know too little and guess too much.
I also feel that the uncertainty among employers is widespread. Can I contact the sick person, what can I do? How much depends on the workplace? How do we rehabilitate? It is easy to connect HR or employee health services and assume that they will solve the problem.It is also easy to avoid the employee that is sick. You do this out of consideration, but I think even more so because of fear and ignorance. I also feel that there are no good tools for moving forward. You become a sick nurse, forcing the "affected" to isolate for a while and then the person ahs to return to the same environment, in the long run the same job situation without having gone to the bottom of why the problem arose and how to avoid the situation in the future. The times I´ve seen successful rehabilitations, have mainly been thanks to the "affecteds" wisdom and maturity, not thanks to the employer.
I, and in my experience most employers, have been caught by surprise and didn´t know what to do.Employee health services has regarded it as a "worn out" injury, much like an injured elbow, and has rarely taken overall responsibility. There is a lot of forces and experience that needs to be linked. One way is to let those with their own experiences share it with others in the same situation. That brings a lot of positive effects. You can take advantage of some of the experiences of others, but most importantly, you do not feel alone.
It is the guilt and feeling of being alone with the problem, I believe, that is one of the reasons why so many affected people get caught in negative spirals. It gets too much to get out of. The shame is that you do not even admit the problem to yourself and then it is very difficult to come to terms with. By talking to people with similar experience, you can reduce the burden of guilt and gain energy and ideas from other people´s experiences.