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Out of work on leave


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Hi all-

I've been out of work for 3 months on FMLA. I had a very stressful 6 months before that because my boss had me managing my residential program and another person's program because she was out on maternity leave. So I was anxious but held it together and seemed to do a good job. The instant the other manager came back, I spiraled down. Finally I had to take a leave because I couldn't get out of bed or my house. I've had a least 4 depressive episodes that have put me out of work for at least a 3 month period over the past 15 years. I've had the same job for 18 years (which is why I can get away with rocky attendence even when I'm in a 'good' place). I've had two manic swings which put me out of work initially (many others that I could work through) but of course ending in in the deep dark place. So this time, I've had a problem with delusional thoughts and weird anxious thoughts once I got pulled out of the paralyzing depression by Geodon. My bipolar seems to get worse as I get older. I guess this is the first time I'm seeing that I may not be able to work in the future. This scares me and makes me feel like a failure. After all these years, I still have denial about the magnitude of this illness. I know this is a long post. I'm just expressing my feelings and looking for some feedback.

Oreo

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Having to give up work for a period of time, or even forever, is not a failure. Doing something positive for your health, and allowing your boss to hire a more reliable employee in your place, is a successful thing to do. Work does provide people with a lot of meaning, but other things can do so too if you are unemployed. I don't think now is the time for a lot of self analysis and predicting the future. Now is the time to work closely with your doc's to manage this episode.

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