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I feel so alone, like I am the only one who suffers from BP. I can't let anyone at work know that I deal with this... they would not understand and it would only put me at risk for losing my job. I work in a small town where everyone knows everyone's business. I work for a church school and may one day want to be principal (even thought I wonder if I could manage it being BP). I have to drive 60+ miles to psychiatrist and counselor. I am having a hard time, (I don't make much, but too much but have insurance crappy as it is, so i do not qualify for the public clinic in town) I have a family with 4 kids I have to take care of. So many complicated things to mention, but am looking for someone who has been there and defeated/controlled BP while living a successful life. I don't know how I am going to be able to keep this quiet with all the dr apptments where i have to get out of work early etc. Let me know what you think.

Thank you all

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BTW I just got a $700 bill for a hospital stay that I have to work out with the hospital because I don't make enough to pay for it. I qualify for food stamps, need to look into that (when I have time) that may mean missing work too....arrrgh... I work 50-60 hours a week and make this much.... ahh well. It is soo hard to stay on my meds when i have to cancel appointments all the time with snow and all. Dr. gave me a week supply when i called in... it cost $80 that is my monthly quota for meds, now i have to figure out how to get through the rest of the month... ARGH!!! Seeing the Dr. tomorrow.

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It is what it is my friend.......I don't know the ins and outs of the US healthcard system but are watching friends back in the US die from it, and become incredibly humiliated and depressed by the faliled system.

Its a matter all too often of keep on keeping on..........A BPer can certainly run a school.......or whatever else they want, if they examine the needs of the job and the decifits in terms of ones personal mental health. I had a good run as a theatre director producer, then BP kinda moved in like a shark for the kill.........

That was then, this is now. so now? I do what I can........figure how in hell to get three doc apts and all those meds with no money......again!

Yeah,, keep on keeping sucks........but sometimes its all we got.......you ain't alone

Keep posting,

peace

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We have a lot of folks on the boards who feel successful. Hopefully they'll chime in.

You're in a tough spot, no doubt about that.

If you need accommodations, it's easy enough to say "Hey, I have some health issues. Don't want to talk about it, but I need to do xyz to manage them."

I am fortunate in that I'm out at work in a job where out is required. Even still, I have to put the work in that someone without BP would do. I'm a supervisor, which at times is overwhelming. But I manage, with some accommodations. I'm also doing graduate school on top of it, and I'm a mom. A lot going on, but I'm doing alright. My meds are and my mood is under control. So long as that's going, I'm perfectly capable of doing my job. When things aren't under control, I step back and ask for help. Then I get well, and I do it all over again.

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-Thanks... So good to hear from someone who is in a management position and having success. I'm just in a situation where leaving all the time for dr. appt's bring up suspicion and I don't like that...

We have a lot of folks on the boards who feel successful. Hopefully they'll chime in.

You're in a tough spot, no doubt about that.

If you need accommodations, it's easy enough to say "Hey, I have some health issues. Don't want to talk about it, but I need to do xyz to manage them."

I am fortunate in that I'm out at work in a job where out is required. Even still, I have to put the work in that someone without BP would do. I'm a supervisor, which at times is overwhelming. But I manage, with some accommodations. I'm also doing graduate school on top of it, and I'm a mom. A lot going on, but I'm doing alright. My meds are and my mood is under control. So long as that's going, I'm perfectly capable of doing my job. When things aren't under control, I step back and ask for help. Then I get well, and I do it all over again.

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You work for a church school but you qualify for food stamps? sort of ugly

I think you need to put energy into a public school job. That would probably have better benefits, and more protections if you have further hospitalizations or need to take a disability leave. Plus most school districts have decent insurance for you and your family.

And on your other post you talked about the challenges of getting to a psychiatrist? Perhaps your primary care doctor could refill your scripts while you find a more accomodating psychiatrist. You can work through these problems.

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I am successful these days thanks to good meds. I have a high responsibility/high stress job and am good at it, although I don't have the hectic home life that you must have with four kids. It sucks that they pay you so little.

However, I can't take unending stress and know my moods well enough now to know when I need to slow down, which in my case means doing only what is absolutely required, and not giving myself extra chores. That means not volunteering to take on extra stuff at work, and some weekends of doing absolutely nothing and telling myself over and over not to feel bad about it, but repeating that I have slowed down in order to take care of myself and that I need more rest / down time than most people.

If people are suspicious about you taking time off, they're just going to have to stay suspicious, because if I were you I wouldn't volunteer any information. I would stick with "I'm being treated for a medical condition" and leave it at that. One pdoc I had would do phone visits and I only saw him in person every three or four visits, also due to the long travel distance.

Stability on meds is possible, and worth the effort. Once you're stable, you can do anything.

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I'm hardly what one would call "successful" but I've worked pretty regularly in for the past 20 years -- enough not to starve -- and raised three daughters (son was with his dad) alone while doing it a good deal of that time. I never hid my bipolar and it's never cost me my job. I didn't shout it from the rooftops, but my employers needed to know that I would be going to doctor's appointments and that I was on medication. It's my opinion that the more we hide our disorder like a dirty little secret the more it will remain stigmatized.

I'm in a small town now, and it's pretty amazing how accepting they are of my bipolar. One co-worker, on finding out that I have this disorder, offered me her phone number to call if I'm feeling "out of sorts". She hardly knows me and we don't socialize outside of work, but she offered this out of compassion. Everyone else pretty much takes the information, digests it, and moves on. I think it's only a big deal if one makes a big deal out of it. That's the way I've worked anyway and it's worked so far for me (I work in a university btw).

I'm surprised that you don't qualify for the clinic in town - if you qualify for food stamps you should qualify for at least a sliding scale. I make next to nothing and I pay $45 out of pocket for my pdoc every three/four months and get patient assistance for my meds. Tdoc costs anywhere from $8 to $12. I got the same deal when I had the kids too (they're grown and moved on now) and that was a different state/job/set of circumstances. I haven't been able to afford insurance for a long LONG time.

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... I never hid my bipolar and it's never cost me my job. I didn't shout it from the rooftops, but my employers needed to know that I would be going to doctor's appointments and that I was on medication. It's my opinion that the more we hide our disorder like a dirty little secret the more it will remain stigmatized.

I would prefer not to hide my disorder at work, but I do based on past experience. I did lose a really good job after I disclosed at work, and I swore I would never do it again. I should have sued my former employer under the ADA, but because I went into yet another episode of major depression, I didn't do anything at all for the next couple of years, except go completely underwater financially. Your employer doesn't need to know any of your medical history or whether or not you're on any medications.

However, I work in a very conservative field, and based on others' reports here, different fields of work have different standards. If it's a church school, I'm going to guess it's fairly conservative as well. If I were you, I would stick with saying that you need occasional time off for medical appointments, and leave it at that. Without getting into the merits of eliminating the stigma surrounding MI, it's still your medical history and no one has a right to know about it, anyway.

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I agree... for the most part. I believe you shouldn't hide your condition; however, I wouldn't go shouting it around your work environment. There are a lot of people out there who look well-meaning, but will stab you in the back as soon as they can. If you don't work with one of these people, great. But I lost a big job because people at my work couldn't understand my illness and therefore wanted to get rid of me.

As for the comments about people at work not needing to know you are on medication - if you sign up for FMLA leave, even intermittent, your doctor will have to complete paperwork about your condition. While the doctor doesn't need to specifically state you have X disorder, they generally list some of your symptoms you are experiencing so your claim will get properly approved. My doctor stated I was on medication on the form. Now, generally this information is only known to people your company has designated (by virtue of compliance with HIPAA) as those who can access protected health information.

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I much prefer jobs where I can be out about my bipolar dx, but that hasn't always been the case.... I tend to go with my instincts and coroporate culture on this one. At my current job, I don't care at all that people know that I'm bipolar in fact prefer it that way. Especially my supervisor. But she knew before she even hired me, which was nice, given that it made me feel really comfortable that it would NOT be held againt me, she's even advised me to not take FMLA for my huband stuff just to use leave in case I ever "need" it for my bipolar.

That being said, I am friends with my boss and most of my coworkers and we work in one of those sharey, kind of lovey dovey environments, where people are all open about their personal shit and what's going on with them. I have to admit, it' kind of refreshing, particualrly after my last job where I was definitely fired for having bp (and reporting my supervisor for a legitimate grievance, but that's a whole other story).

it really depends on the corporate culture and the type of people you work with and you definitely have to be careful about it, in my opinion. I don't think I'd want to work somewhere where I couldn't be somewhat open about my dx at least to my supervisor, but that has to do with having that added layer of protection and whatnot, with being a counselor and everything.... At least these days. The jobs where I HAVE felt most miserable where where I had to "hide" it but I think that may have had more to do with the fact that they were just corperate cultures of secrecy and ignorance anyway, you know?

Anna

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