Saturday, December 8, 2012

Out of the Blue

This is Jan Wong's very personal account of how workplace stress pushed her into a severe depressive episode that took two years of therapy and anti-depressants to run its course.  Most interestingly perhaps was the fact that she had to self-publish even though she was an oft-published author and award winning journalist.  Apparently Canada's publishing industry is so small no one was willing to take on the Globe together with Wong.

Wong's episode was triggered by her coverage of the Dawson CEGEP shooting in Montreal.  Certain comments she made, which were approved by her editors, led to hate mail and death threats.  The Globe refused to back her - in fact publishing an editorial critical of the piece.  Neither her employer nor the provider of disability insurance believed she was ill despite diagnoses from her family doctor, her psychiatrist and even the independent medical doctor the employer sent her to.  She was denied disability payments and eventually dismissed.  Of course, this is only her side of the story so is undoubtedly somewhat biased but if it's even half true what she had to endure was awful.  And she did eventually get a settlement from the Globe so she must have had a case (especially since they eventually relented on their demand for a gag order - so she was able to tell the story).

A really interesting read - great insights into workplace politics and stress and the toll it can have on a very successful, strong woman and her family.

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