illustration of William Tincup from KeyInterval Research appearing on article on published June 24, 2015

William Tincup of KeyInterval Research, HRExaminer Editorial Advisory Board Contributor and

I deeply believe that all humans are addicts and all humans suffer from depression. All as in every single one! Take it to the extremes: the Pope, your mother, little league soccer coach, Einstein. All of them. The breadth and depth of the struggles are different for each person at different times in one’s life.

One can function with addiction, depression, or both. One can be addicted to coffee, wine, chocolate, porn, cocaine, work, etc., etc., etc. Depression can be situational, clinical, acute, chronic, etc., etc., etc. Spectrums within spectrums. And timing within those spectrums. Yet, addiction is generally accepted by the mainstream. For instance, I can talk openly about my addictions… from cocaine use in the 80s, to fast food (ongoing), to Mountain Dew (most of my life). You might think less of me. But if I told you I went to rehab and got better with a clinic from and that I’ve been sober for 12 years, you would probably give me a second chance. As Americans, we like stories that have elements of redemption in them. Addiction is seen by most as something you can overcome. Thank goodness, right?

Meanwhile, depression is not accepted. Not at all acceptable. Imagine talking at a network event with your industry colleagues about your depression. You know, where you couldn’t get out of bed, off the couch, out of the house. Where you thought the world was ending and/or you wanted it to end. Oh shit. Suicidal thoughts? Holy fucksake. You’d NEVER, ever talk about it publicly in today’s climate.

Yet, depression is our reality. Everyone… fucking everyone… everyone suffers from some form of depression. Again, it might not be stark. It might only last for a few hours or days. You might sleep a bit more. But, because we don’t accept depression (like we do addiction) people don’t openly share stories and their (very fucking real) struggles.

We act like everything is perfect. Which is the fucking opposite of addiction… first rule addiction, admit you have an addiction. Second rule of addiction, admit you have an addiction and that you need help. Denial is a sworn enemy of recovery. And with depression we hide… the truth, from each other… deniability on so many levels. So how can depression become more acceptable?

Here’s the thing, you can think I’m full of shit. But, if I talk with you for more than an hour, I’ll find your addiction(s) and discover your depression(s). Everyone has them. We should own our addiction(s) and depression(s). We should talk more about it. We should be vulnerable with each other.

Now, you might wonder why this article is published on people / human / talent blog. Well, as recruiters and HR pros, we’re in the judgment business. Within the law and outside of it… we judge candidates and employees. Every single day AND in every single way. And within that judgement… the little folder in your brain where you hide things… is how you judge people that are suffering from either addiction, depression or both. We accept one and deny the other. And by acceptance I don’t mean totally accept rather we’re less judgmental of one over the other.

In close, at 46, I’m finally comfortable with my addiction(s) and depression(s). I know in my heart that we need more discussion here, not less. More acceptance here, not less. Do me a favor, please comment and share your ideas. It’s okay if we disagree and/or see the world differently.

Read previous post:
illustration of coal miner helmet with pick and hammer in article by Paul Hebert published 2015-06-23 about Sentinel Employees
Sentinel Employees. Do you have them? Do you use them?

Canaries are called sentinel species. Your organization is an ecosystem as well. And you too have sentinel species. You may...