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Innie or outtie?

Have you been a victim? Or have you contributed to your own stigma?

by BillyGoat » Mon Aug 01, 2016 4:59 am

Umm.. mom6...

HVAC1 is one of our most esteemed and feared members.

He's smart as all fuck, occasionally humourous, and works in the snow.

Whilst not amazing in bed, he is at least considerate, and shows a willingness to learn.

His best asset, however, is definitely his soul. He's lived, loved and experienced, and has more to share than he realises.

Shame he's American..

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by AvantGarde » Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:28 am

As I said on another thread a few weeks ago, I deal with both the schizophrenia stigma and the bipolar stigma, and when I say I have "a mix of both, with anxiety and PTSD" the first look on their faces is pitty. Then I always go on and on about my recovery process and the accomplishments I was able to make with this illness, and that pitty turns into a lot of questions. :roll:

I'm definitely an outtie... It was hard at first, people are usually ignorant about mental health so I would say "I had psychosis, still dealing with it" and then procede to explain psychosis. Then when I became comfortable I started to say what's on the paragraph above.. I never had problems, since I came out. When I was in denial I had problems, when I didn't want meds I had problems, but since I decided to confront the illness people don't see me as weak, or (too) crazy, but they keep their distance anyway. Which is fine by me because I like my sacred space <3
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by Cracked » Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:55 pm

I'm in between, working my way out. Most of my friends and even acquaintances know now, that's super recent. I wrote an article about Michelle McNamara's death, and her husband Patton Oswalt's moving fb post about his grief and how it made his depression look like a joke. Anyway, in it, I say how I can't imagine my bipolar looking like a joke compared to anything. So I kinda came out all sneaky like. I was terrified to post it, but I did, and one read it. I was like, hell no, I did not lose sleep over this so no one would even notice. So I let my friends know, hey, I wrote this and I really want you to read it. It's liberating I guess. Terrifying, because I have no idea how employers will think about it, but I'm a writer, and we're a notoriously batty bunch, and being able to write about such a sensitive subject eloquently should look like a good thing, right?
Anyway, writing the article, kinda coming out, felt good. I still don't shout about it, but I don't want to lie anymore either. I don't want people to think of me differently, but I'm also tired of pretending I haven't had this life-altering experience, like I haven't been through hell and made it out alive.
Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light.
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by rollercoaster » Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:02 am

Hello folks.

Been away for a bit but stopped in tonight and this was a good question to ponder. I'm a reluctant It's easy to deal with now that I've been "retired" on SSDI for 10 years. Where did those years go??? Although a BPer since early teens, wasn't diagnosed until 2000 after a life time of miss-diagnosis. Only sought help when depressed. When manic? What problem? No need to address that.

So after the diagnosis I did tell my supervisors AFTER I had established myself as a good employee. The job in computers for several major companies could be and frequently was stressful. When the planets aligned and I was having a bad time of it I told the boss(s). They took it in stride, well aware of the ADA and the bad publicity if they made a case out of it. Since I was productive, even in bad times, they couldn't very well hold the BP against me.

Well, at the end of my run, the defecation finally impacted the air-circulation device. Not long after starting a new job I pulled a week of after hours support. You were expected to work all night if necessary and report the next day. The week was horrible. They had added responsibilities for which I had NO training and come Monday morning I lost it. The weekend was a disaster. Was hospitalized. Tried to come back, but hospitalized twice more before seriously thinking about coming back. The pdoc made it clear that stress had taken its toll over the years, family broke up too, and made it clear I couldn't go back...ever.

After the diagnosis all friends were advised. They already knew about the depression and the mania was written off as me being me. As my family is/was bat sh*t crazy it made no impact on them except for mother who was in denial and blamed me for being a fraud. Felt that the rest of her days, sadly. Except for mother, there was no judgement.

To close this out, I didn't know about the possibility of BP until late in life so explaining it or even treating it didn't happen. Only an intuitive pdoc suspected more than depression. When I learned about the BP, bosses were eventually told, if you will, on a need to know basis. Wasn't ashamed of it and confident of my work so if they would have had a bad reaction I was prepared to move on. When I knew, friends and relatives knew. Co-workers only knew when I didn't show up for work that Monday morning...and all days after. My take, tell those that matter to you and can offer support. Can't stress enough the importance of a support group/team. Spouse, relatives, friends, pdoc, tdoc, et cetera. Those that will stand in your corner. The rest? Unless there's a good reason, let it be.

Obviously never an easy call, in or out.

Et tu...bipolar?
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by hal » Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:32 am

"Not long after starting a new job I pulled a week of after hours support. You were expected to work all night if necessary and report the next day."

Lack of sleep is a huge trigger for mania for me. Even one night. Do you think it was a manic reaction?
. . . all times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone.
-- Tennyson
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by rollercoaster » Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:17 am

Hi Hal,

No not a manic reaction. I literally started to babble when the sun came up Monday morning. I was beaten and bloodied and could not keep a coherent thought. My mind was racing thinking what the hell do I do now. Do I have any recourse or options. I turned very dark that morning. Live or not became an option. Facing anything resembling my supervisors was not an option. Psychotic break? Close to it as I care to come. It didn't get better for some time. Took three closely spaced hospitalizations to get my mind right. It's been over 11 years since that happened. Compared to that time life is better now but don't ask me to quantify "better".

Et tu...bipolar?
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by djuno » Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:07 pm

I don't really have a choice in the matter. My record means it'll come up in an interview no matter what, and at that point it's easier to explain away the criminal trespassing and possession charges with "yah, but I got 3 hospitalizations too." I just wish the entire infrastructure for mental illness was stronger. I mean everyone looks at it like a disease, but when you go for disability for that its a big government "talk to the hand." Like if I was missing a leg it wouldn't be this hard, so why do they have to add insult to injury when I'm trying to actually get treatment now...

And now I'm full fledged ranting oops. yeah, total outie and extremely political about it.
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by SlyPixie » Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:33 pm

I'm out, but for the first time since I was diagnosed as a teenager. I fought the diagnosis. I just wanted to be normal, like everyone else. I certainly didn't want a mental illness! So, my roller coaster began. I would take my meds, start feeling better and stop taking them, convinced that I could manage it on my own. I made such a wonderful mess of things.

Now I have grown and changed, I don't want my illness running my life. I'm still apprehensive when I tell somebody, but if they are close enough for me to call them a friend, then let them in. I have also told my boss, and she was very understanding and has been awesome.
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by grey_sky » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:23 pm

I am not even open with most work colleagues about anything in my personal life. Due to the nature of my work, I have not been in the same workplace for any longer than 1 year thus far. I am not very trusting of others, overall. Six years ago, I made the mistake of telling my boss I was taking antidepressants and had social anxiety and she stigmatized me and made me feel like I was a liability. I sometimes disclose my anxiety or depression to people if they disclose to me first - or in a moment of weakness if I feel it is my best option. The only person I have confided in about my bipolar symptoms is my best friend, who is a former colleague.
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by Billy.G » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:53 pm

I would say I fall more in then out, that being said, Iam not ashamed nor do I hide the fact that I am BP. I would have been formally diagnosed in 2010, so my immediate family and close friends have known since then. My current boss knows, it came up in conversation and others who have known me for a while. Not something I advertise as sadly there is still stigma out there, but not something I try to hide or deny. It can be a blessing and a curse to have, but its part of who I am.
“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”
- Randy Pausch
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by cottontail » Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:42 pm

I'm out there! If I was young I would have one of those 'Bipolar 1' t-shirts and wear it loud and proud! but as I am a fossil I just let people know so that they understand that I am not a psychopath even though sometimes I might behave like one...
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by Hodez » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:45 pm

Close friends and family know. Its great to be honest about it and helped me take away the shame by sharing. They respect me in the disorder too and dont blab insensitively.

One coworker knows after he opened up to me and was struggling with his own issues. Pretty sure he hasnt rumored it at all. Ive been fired before for BD, so i dont think they need to know and it will be a need to know basis of information.

I must say, the best thing via found for BD commaraderie is a face-to-face peer support group. I LOVE being open and honest and understood in human form.
There's beauty in the pathless woods. ~Byron

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by Karen79 » Mon May 01, 2017 6:07 am

For the most part nobody knows but family. Only 3 ppl know at work but it took me 3 years to trust them enough to tell them. I don't know anyone else in RL that is BP so it's hard to find someone who truly understands. That why it's so great I found this place. There's still a lot of stigma that surrounds mental illness and I'm still somewhat feel ashamed like this is my fault so it's hard to tell ppl.
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by libellula » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:37 am

Immediately after having received my diagnosis, I was outtie. Then after some negative experiences, especially with family members I decided to tell that i suffer of depression.
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by lawrence82 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:48 pm

At this last job I came out because of a extended hospital stay. It didn't turn out to baddly.
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