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Mollycat


Member

Posted Fri Nov 10th, 2006 1:02pm Post subject: Thank you Stephen - I told my boss!
X-D

Thank you for making the programme and raising awareness of bipolar. I am a recently diagnosed Cylclothemia sufferer who because of the programme and the confidence it gave me, decided to tell my employer about my condition and take the consequences. I wish I had done it earlier. They have been so nice to me and everyone so understanding and now I don't live looking over my shoulder every five minutes, terrified that someone will find out.

This is me. This is who I am. I accept me. So must other people.

I would welcome the opportunity of taking part in anything that raises awareness of bipolar and quashes stigma over mental illnesses.

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panda


Member

Posted Fri Nov 10th, 2006 5:17pm Post subject: Thank you Stephen - I told my boss!
hi annie
well done! really glad it went well.
can you tell us any more? what kind of job do you work in? which industry? are you quite open with work about things anyway? how did you bring it up?
sorry for all the questions, but am curious to know more!!
panda

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Mollycat


Member

Posted Sat Nov 11th, 2006 9:20pm Post subject: Thank you Stephen - I told my boss!
What you must understand is that I am lucky, I have never been psychotic or violent - in fact my bipolar is mild. On the medication I have no time off sick anymore and my work is better than before as I am chemically held at normal, rational, and generally free of mood swings. The only real swings I get now are from normal to racing when I think of ten things at a time can multi task to an amazing level and am amazingly creative and productive. I think work actually likes this.

I was in a meeting, a window of opportunity came and without too much pre-meditation, I took the chance and it paid off. Of course, not all employers will be as sympathetic as mine and it you must really analyse your organisation before taking the plunge.

I am very keen to get involved with work that helps people with bipolar learn coping skills and strategies they can put in place to make life easier. Again, I am lucky, I am blessed to have bipolar, it has made me who I am and I have achieved many things through it. The lows have strengthened me and taught me just how much we take normal for granted and treat it with contempt. Don't get me wrong, my life is disrupted in many ways but it's learning to live with it and find ways round it that get you through.

For instance, I have just had my sodium valproate dosage doubled, plus started on half-inderal LA and am suffering from daily chemically induced tiredness which is horrible. I had a brilliant week from Monday to Thursday and got more done than I had planned to achieve, so on Friday my aim was to get through the day awake, whilst keeping on top of the daily stuff that got thrown at me. I am a middle manager caught between senior management and the workers and luckily both sides were quiet for me. I do share with those around me at work on days like this and I am not constantly putting on a front which, in itself, drains you. But, I have started a healthy eating, energy food plan, started exercising in the hope that this combined will stop the tiredness and today I have been much better. The doctors can do so much and for the rest - we must use our own common sense.

Be proud of who you are - bipolar is a huge part of that and people must accept you warts and all but more imporantly the public has to accept that most bipolar people are highly intelligent and creative people when their condition is managed correctly and that is the key - getting a good doctor.

Hope this helps.

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doublecrown


Member

Posted Tue Nov 14th, 2006 9:47pm Post subject: Thank you Stephen - I told my boss!
HI . i have just come back from the wilderness of a bad downer with all the usual bad bits in it (the first 1 for about 6 years) and on my return to work i decided enuf is enough i am 44 and ave been like this since my teens and have told the world and its granny all about my "condition" . its the best therapy i think i have ever done telling all my friends , work mates and everyone i come in contact with on a day to day basis and due to the nature of my employment thats a lot of people! i am me i am what i am and my condition (not illness !!! ) is what it is i would not class myself as sevire in my bipolaraty but it certanly is not mild , even with medication , good psycatric help and a lot of E C T zapps , it still comes back and bites me . your comment about telling your boss if they dont understand it then they dont deserve the honour of being an employer , when i told the maniging director of my company , his remarks were so encorouging an understanding i was touched by it ...........malc

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Neens


Member

Posted Mon Nov 27th, 2006 7:28am Post subject: Thank you Stephen - I told my boss!
I took the leap too - my recent diagnosis after twenty two years of hell has brought relief but of course appointments by the score for therapy. Hence, I had to tell my employers and again, they were very supportive. I didn't want sympathy or empathy, just acceptance. I also had to choose carefully the people I was going to tell and luckily our deputy manager is understanding, as is our HR rep. Laughingly I was offered help under the Disability Discrim' Act, which I thanked them for but flatly turned down. I have got this far without it but just needed time away from work for therapy apppointments. I don't think I have ever felt as nervous before saying anything though and have gone to great lengths in the past to hide my ups and downs, many of which have culminated in some worrying features. But here I am, and I shall keep on going. It is heartening to hear of others who have had good experiences when telling employers, but I bet there aren't many of us.

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Karabeth


Member

Posted Tue Jan 2nd, 2007 7:08am Post subject: Thank you Stephen - I told my boss!
I could never tell my boss or almost anyone. There are a few people by default that have to know but that is it. It is not understood well enough. I also have a huge fear of it making people afraid of me or that they will think I am crazy. When my mother found out after my second suicide attempt (my best friend told her why and so on), she told me I was crazy and that now she understood why I was such a bad daughter. Even now when she gets upset with me or is having her own episodes she will put me down and call me crazy and tell me I need serious help. I know this is just her (she has major issues) but you still don’t like to hear it from your mom.

I think most of the time the places I have worked love the fact I can do a thousand things at once and really can ride a manic episode for months with focusing on work. Of course my private life suffers. When I crash I think there are those that can tell, but I can hide it very well after all these years or just work from home if I have to.

It is wonderful that some people have had success with this, I just do not believe I ever could. The different industries I have worked in are communities and word travels round the globe very quickly. It would affect every job I go for in the future. I would always wonder who knew, how much and what they thought. I strongly dislike the idea of being judged by just part of who I am.

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Karabeth


Member

Posted Tue Jan 2nd, 2007 7:17am Post subject: Thank you Stephen - I told my boss!
I want to add that I did not have the opportunity to see Stephen's special on this. I did read An Unquite Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison and it was wonderful to be understood and understand with a complete stranger. I strongly recommend the read.

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