Adele*, aged 42, NSW

My employer has it on record that I have an illness but I do not publicly announce my problems. Returning to work after an episode including five weeks of hospitalisation was not easy. On a personal level I shook with fear at my desk as I no longer had confidence in myself. I had made myself do all the normal things- get up, shower and dress and get to work- however my thoughts were dominated by uncertainty in myself. My close friends advised having more time off but I knew that was not an option. To gain confidence again I just had to do it.

My boss is and remains very supportive and empathetic although I have yet to have a good conversation with him about the episode. I have doubts over his opinion of me.

I was able to return to work but it took me awhile to get back to full speed and performance. The people at work that I did tell the truth were empathic and supportive and helped me to move on. You can't change the past but you can influence your future habits, thinking and actions.

*not her real name