Strategies For Women Returning To Work After A Lapse Due To Depression | 37136
Journal of Nursing & Care
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In this paper the results of a qualitative study involving 40 women who returned to work after being off for a minimum of three
months are presented. The women reported that they wore a mask due to the stigma associated with having a mental illness.
Unfortunately wearing this mask further contributed to the feelings of social isolation the women experienced. Women were
asked about how depression affected them at work and about their experiences of returning to work. Responses included “I
needed a gradual return” and “I had no support-if I had a broken leg there would have been support”. Women return to work for
financial reasons because their sick time has expired and to combat social isolation. Some of the barriers to women returning to
work that have emerged from the data include stigma and discrimination, a fear of self-disclosure and concentration and memory
issues. Strategies for combating these barriers will be discussed.
Heather MacDonald has completed her MScN at the University of Toronto, Canada and her PhD in Nursing at the University of Manchester, UK. She has been a Professor at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, Canada, since 1990. She is the author of number of publications and presented papers at various national and international conferences. In addition to working at the University of New Brunswick, she has a Parish Nursing Practice.