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Maniac


Member

Posted Sun Jun 3rd, 2007 9:26pm Post subject: Self respect. Profession. damn it
Hello.
I'm probably talking crap again but bear with me.

I've just been reading a leaflet online about bipolar and the preface was written by Stephen.

In it he says...
"I came out as someone with a bipolar affective disorder for the same reason I came out as a gay man 25 years ago – I felt it was important for my own self-respect. But it was also something I could do relatively easily because of my profession."

I would love to 'come out' for my own self-respect. That's exactly how I feel.
But I'm a teacher and fear it would ruin me forever.

DAMN IT!

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Maniac


Member

Posted Sun Jun 3rd, 2007 9:29pm Post subject: Self respect. Profession. damn it
PROFILE: Suzy Johnston

I have bipolar...
I am 33 years old. I am a graduate of the University of St Andrews. I have a filthy laugh. I am a hopeless cook. I spend hours just watching the seagulls soar on the wind outside my bedroom window. I represented Scotland at under-16 level at squash. I have blue eyes. I play guitar in a rock band - loudly. I am a loyal friend. I am a cautious driver. I am clumsy. My glass is half full. I like the rain on my face and the wind in my hair. I take medication every day. I am in the loveliest of relationships and I love him to bits. I like scrambled eggs for breakfast. I have a rather eccentric cat. I am learning the drums. My neighbours are thinking of moving. I have an enquiring mind. I love reading. I always break my own fall.
...but bipolar doesn’t have me

Suzy Johnston
Author
The Naked Bird Watcher

Taken from here... http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/tv_and_radio/secret_li.....ession.pdf

It's made me cry!!

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Crazy_in_a_box


Member

Posted Sun Jun 3rd, 2007 10:21pm Post subject: Self respect. Profession. damn it
Yes I feel I live 2 lives at times.... the real me - the truthful me where I have depression and get on with it and the other me... the one people think I am. nearly everyone I know dosnt know about my depression, only people who do are my mam, dad, sister, aunt in Canada who also has a form of it, her partner who has it, you people on here, one of my sister's friends who I consider kind of a friend and one of my mam's friends who I told one time when I was upset.
I told 2 very good friends, one of which also has it, in the past but I no longer talk to them...

part of me would like to be open about it. to tell people. but I cant.... I dont really know why. Im not ashamed of it. I think Im scared of their reaction.... I know that your not a weirdo if you have it but they dont know that and I dont want their judgement. Esp my extended family.... I dont know how it would go down with them. they think Im odd as it is (my own oddness haha not as a result of the depression) I was brought up to think for myself while my extended family follow the crowd.

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Maniac


Member

Posted Sun Jun 3rd, 2007 10:25pm Post subject: Self respect. Profession. damn it
I just worry it would wreck my career - a career I have worked damn hard to get into.

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Crazy_in_a_box


Member

Posted Sun Jun 3rd, 2007 10:29pm Post subject: Self respect. Profession. damn it
Im not worried from that point of view as I am studying to be an Interior designer, were the more mad and crazy and outlandish you are the better. I will eventually run my own business so I can control working hours, what jobs I take etc. Most of it is actually working by yourself which Im good at yet you can deal with people in the form of clients and suppliers so your not isolated. Its also a great creative out put.... you are a teacher right? Im not sure how it would impact on you... sorry about not being help!

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Maniac


Member

Posted Sun Jun 3rd, 2007 10:34pm Post subject: Self respect. Profession. damn it
No worries. X-D

It does help!
As long as no one knows about it!

I can be as creative and imaginative in the classroom as I want and people just think I'm eccentric or an interesting teacher.
BUT, it's the worry that just the name would cause people to jump to conclusions and use it against me if I had an off day or made a mistake.


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rawlini


Member

Posted Mon Jun 4th, 2007 1:00am Post subject: Self respect. Profession. damn it
It depends on the school. What is the environment like? Conservative/progressive? Have you worked at the school long? Would you have support from the administration? What grade level do you teach? (Would the students be old enough to understand?)

Sorry for all the questions--just trying to get a better idea of your situation.

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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Mon Jun 4th, 2007 10:55am Post subject: Self respect. Profession. damn it
I certainly agre Rawlini. Very much depends on the working environment and the people you work with.

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panda


Member

Posted Mon Jun 4th, 2007 12:40pm Post subject: Self respect. Profession. damn it
I think its a tricky situation (coming out as bipolar).

I can understand Stephen's thoughts. I think in an ideal world it can be good for your self-esteem to be honest about who you are. And as he said, his career allows him to be open. And because of the high level of respect that he has gained within that career, people respect his opinion, like him as a person and a character. And since he already had experience of coming out as gay, he probably knew some of the issues and difficulties involved first hand (although obviously there are differences between the two situations as well).

To me it feels like we are currently in a state of flux concerning public attitudes to mental health. I think for people's perceptions to change it is a very gradual thing. Just to give a comparison, my dad had epilepsy and trained to be a priest in the 70s. The church's view was that epilepsy was a sign of being possessed by the devil and so didn't let him be ordained. Now, I don't think he would face the same prejudice. Other members of my family have physical disabilities and they have experienced similar amounts of prejudice, and work hard to change people's ideas. However, I personally think it is unrealistic for this to happen over night.

I know one teacher in an MDF group who was made redundant because he came out and said he had bipolar. I think it was mixed up in personality clashes and an argument, and it was brought out when he was suffering so i think it was used as an excuse to say he was not fit to work with children.

But there is another teacher on the MDF forum (you might like to talk with her) who's school seems to be quite understanding. They have given her 6 months paid sick leave. But its a very tricky situation.

Have you "come out" to your own friends, family, acquaintances? I would be inclined to do that before coming out to work.

There is someone on this forum who got the sack because the agency she was working for found out. So it is a risky situation.

In one way I would like to be able to be more open about it. But in another way, there is too much to lose. And there are plenty of people I can talk to about it. Someone said to me, its a personal issue, you don't have to tell everyone about it. I think there is no right or wrong answer. Just got to figure out what are your motives and intentions for wanting to say something. What do you hope will happen? (Is there any other way of getting what you want to happen anyway, without giving away all details.)

It is sad in a way to have to live a double life, and hopefully things will change. I am sure they will. It just takes time. And which is why it is so important that respected popular people like Stephen are brave enough to talk about these things in public. So that people can hear them from someone they already like and respect, and hopefully slowly things will change. There are laws in place, but realistically it takes a while for attitudes to change.

I just hope there will not be a culture of "outing" people. For anyone suffering from mental distress, this is the last thing anyone needs, even if they appear to be outwardly successful. But maybe this won't happen.

I hope to move into a career where I can be more open and myself. But again, that's not going to happen over night. There's enough to do just struggling to manage going to work and keep things going.

Anyway, that was a long post, but hope some its of some help.

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Maniac


Member

Posted Mon Jun 4th, 2007 6:20pm Post subject: Self respect. Profession. damn it
Thanks guys.
My friends know that I'm a nutter. I have no problems with that.
I do fear it being used as an excuse if I made the slightest mistake at school though.
:'(

Actually feeling better about myself today.
Have only been at this school since last September and so don't feel ready to tell ANYONE at all. I have mentioned depression to one colleague who said he had felt he was becoming prone to it himself - I had nothing to lose there - if he was to choose to use it against me, I could use his against him.. so , all's well. I trust him anyway.

I can't trust anyone else though but sometimes just wish, well, I dunno.

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Vespertine


Member

Posted Tue Jun 5th, 2007 11:54am Post subject: Self respect. Profession. damn it
I came out as being 'classified' mentally ill a short time ago. Same reasons ...Self Respect mostly.

I guess I associated mental illness with people hiding their faces when I'm seen in the street so they don't have to talk to me. I was wrong.

I shouldn't really say this but it's beneficial to anyone in a similar situation to me so I'm willing to risk it.
I work at Marks and Spencers. They are probably the best company I could have been working for at this time. Since I told them they've been so supportive. Given me several weeks off. When I return I'm on rehab hours which means I work for 5 hours and get paid for 8. Thats about two weeks.
They're trying to devise a rota for me to suit my illness while I'm at work. They accept that if I can't get up in the morning I can't get up.
They are even suggested organising for me to have counseling with the firm so that I don't have to have such a long wait for NHS counseling.

I couldn't thank them more. It's a shame that more employers aren't this professional.

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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Tue Jun 5th, 2007 12:17pm Post subject: Self respect. Profession. damn it
Great to hear about M&S Vespertine.
My employer (who I won't name, but is a Global Company. Managed from the UK) is also great .
HR have helped out many times when they coould see I was down and out.
I like to think if your a good employee, you'll get help and support, but understand that it isn't aways the case.
Catch ya,
xox
Pete

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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Tue Jun 5th, 2007 12:21pm Post subject: Self respect. Profession. damn it
Hi Maniac,
Hope you feeling well today.


My friends know that I'm a nutter..

Me too...... and when your not, it's transparent. Then the questioning starts.
"What's wrong with Pete ????"
Good to know they care, I guess.
Catctya
oxo
Pete

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Maniac


Member

Posted Tue Jun 5th, 2007 5:37pm Post subject: Self respect. Profession. damn it
Hi
I'm back at school after half term and I'm great!
It gives me a boost and lets my creative and energetic side come out.
Thanks for asking, Pete.

M&S sounds brilliant, I'm so pleased about that, Vespertine.

Going shopping now for some brain food. I've decided to be healthy as it can't do me any hard.
X-D

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doublecrown


Member

Posted Fri Jun 8th, 2007 5:08pm Post subject: Self respect. Profession. damn it
hi i to told the world and its granny about my "condition" following stephens doc on tv....its the best thing i have done to help manage myselves, my employer has been very understanding and left me on full pay for the last four months whilst ive been in hospital and going out of my minds at home , altho things will change soon as i have had to surrender my driving licence due to my medication , In letting all know about my highs , lows and allover the place moods not many were surprised , and it took lots of stress away Now for the serious bit , my advise to you is to take advise from your union rep , they must treat this with medical confidience , but as part of a duty of care issue bla bla bla your LEA will have agenceys which will specialise in helping you to maximise your career whilst minimising your stress levels in the workplace thus helping to stablise your condition ps if you knowingly had this condition when you took current position , but DID NOT DECLARE IT ON RELEIVENT PAPERWORK YOU MAY BE ON "A STICKY WICKET" , ON THE OTHER HAND NOW YOU KNOW YOU HAVE THE "CONDITION" ARE YOU NOT DUTY BOUND TO REVEAL IT IN CASE YOU ARE INVOLVED IN AN "INCIDENT" AT SOME POINT AND BECOME A SCAPEGOAT !!!! PLEASE PLEASE TAKE PROPER ADVISE

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