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has anyone been disabled by bp?


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Forgive me if this has been posted before, I am new to the forums and newly dx with bipo (previously thought it was depression). My medication regimen has just started so we're not sure what the magical formula is yet (as if there is one)

I have found over the years it is very difficult for me to hold down a 'normal' nine to five job. There's days that I feel rash enough to quit and just lay around and watch movies. I've managed to keep my current job for 18 months now but feel pressure building, especially since right now I'm slugging thru med changes and side effects. My company offers a medical leave benefit of up to 25 weeks, I'm very tempted to inquire about it ..I may not need but just a few weeks to become stable and manage the side effects.

But was just wondering, for those who wish to share, has this bipo left you unable to do much as far as work, normal living tasks? etc?

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I have an active disability case. Originally started when i was diagnosed Bipolar 1 but ive sence been diagnosed schizoaffective. My illness is very dibilitating for me tho.

You could always look into your medical leave at work if you feel its getting to be too much

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hi Jen, nice to meet you. If you don't mind me asking, did your psych write up a care plan or 'doc note' to help obtain the disability? I have not talked to the boss yet, she is aware of what's going on and our medical leave policy states we need documentation from our doc about ongoing treatment, etc. Yes, right now it feels like the demands and stress are too much and it would be good to have time to ease out some bumps so that I CAN carry on a workload in the future

thank you!

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I haven't worked since August 2008 because of my bipolar. I was approved for SSDI in January 09. So, yes, bp can cause a total disability in people. My main problem in the workplace was that my paranoia increased to exponential levels the longer I worked with a particular set of people, and then I created my whole little conspiracy-theory world of how everyone was talking about me and out to get me fired. My last job I was escorted out after screaming at a supervisor in a crowded room thinking that she was talking to me, and telling the manager of the call center that I would seek legal recourse over the people who were out to get me.

When you are trying to get on the right medications, things can get difficult and you may need to take time off here and there. Especially when starting or ramping up your medications. I had times where I would fall asleep driving to work when ramping up meds. So it might be to your benefit to ask about your company's time off policy. But make sure it's FMLA time off, which is job protected leave, rather than just short term disability pay, which gives you no legal protection against terminating you during an absence.

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The exact number varies by source but nearly half of people with Bipolar Disorder are unable to support themselves by working or attend school full time. Carrying out the daily activities of living like bathing, dressing, preparing meals, keeping house, paying bills are problems at least occasionally for most of us.

Med changes can be a bit trying and are best handled with patience and a sense of determination to persevere until side effects fade and the meds take hold. Sometimes it may be necessary to take time off from work, perhaps a few days to a few weeks, in order to accomodate the changes and discomfort. Your psychiatrist should be consulted and can provide a letter recommending time off. State or federal laws (e.g. FMLA, Family Medical Leave Act) may provide job protection.

The good news is that there are probably fifty different meds that are effective for treatment, and more than ever it is possible to live an active satisfied life. I haven't worked in eight years, and my pdoc has repeatedly urged me to apply for federal disability, though I want to look for work in the near future. Still, things are better for me than I thought they could ever be again. Finding the right meds can take time.

a.m.

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thanks so much for posting, I have finally found others who understand. Yes, under our policy my job would be held and I'd receive 60% of my normal salary which would be stressful on finances but not completely wipe me out. My husband and I are separated, he does not quite understand the severity of this yet but I did mention to him we may need to try to share living expenses again. I have a decent job and make a decent salary and hate to give up the independence of living alone but for some reason I was unable to hold down a normal job I can't say it would hurt my feelings too much :) Right now it's hard enough to just get our son to school and back and keep food in the house. I am hoping to work through the side effects and not miss any work..I do have 9 days of vacation coming up next week so that will be wonderful. It will hopefully be all that is needed.

again I'm so happy to meet you all and find others who understand.

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It's also not unlikely that you'll go through phases of being more or less capable of working. In the 12 years since my diagnosis, I've:

  • worked full time while going to school nights
  • been unemployed and unable to work for almost three years
  • worked part time
  • gone to school full time
  • worked part time and gone to school part time

A lot of the transitions between phases were very hard, as was figuring out what I needed to be doing at any given time-I'm stubborn, and let a lot of things go too far, become too much of a crisis, before I reevaluate and make needed changes.

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I've been diagnosed for approximately 10 years and finally just fell flat on my face [about fiveish years ago], trapped in bed and unable to go into grocery stores, or anywhere in public alone. I would drive to my boyfriend's house and to my appointments and that's it, the rest of the time I would be spending in bed, either online writing pages and pages of manic nonsense or literally staring at the ceiling. I had some physical issues but the majority of my issues were due to the bipolar.

THere are many other problems stemming from the bipolar, but I'm sure you can imagine them. Anyway, i spent about a year and a halfish? like that... just unable to function in any meaningful sense.

I finally applied for diability with the help of family members and was approved in about six months. After taking some time to get proper care and switch doctors and attempt to recover a bit, [many months], I took one class, and gradually increased my time at school under the ticket to work program through ssdi to full time, working occasionally when I wasn't in school.

FUll time was extremely stressful and I think it is a direct cause of what drove me into the hospital program. I don't forsee me being able to do it again for a long time. I tried three classes last semester that were all pretty difficult [the semester after the hospital program] and didn't do well. I also tried working this summer parttime and lasted four days before I had a complete and utter breakdown on the job.

We all have differing degrees of ability at differing times, as was mentioned before. That's the trick of the thing.

I hope you figure out the puzzle with your bp.

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I tried to work full time several times, and tended to fall apart at the 18mo point. I managed to squeak through law school, and then really only worked here and there afterwards, at first because of the job market, and then because I was depressed constantly. My pdoc in Pittsburgh told me that I couldn't work more than part-time. Right now, there is a lot of shit going on in my life, and I am not working at all for several different reasons.

I am hoping I will be able to go back to part time work, but my husband and I are not expecting it (well, I'm really hoping, because I work with dogs, and I miss them).

I am going to start the process of applying for disability, for both headaches and BP. My pdoc thinks I will get it. My neurologist is certain I will get it. Which reminds me I have to go back to their site.

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It's comforting to know that this is a legitimate reason to quit. You guys would laugh if you knew my job. I quit college multiple times .both marriages failed. Lots of unfinished projects . Dreaming of a life that isn't rigged to a schedule .

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When I was 18, I was put on permanent disability. It works differently in Canada, you can still work. I didn't work for a few years, went to college, in and out of psych hospitals. After ECT I got a job, then moved in with friends in a different city, got a job (and a raging drug addiction, 2 1/2 years clean) moved back, moved out again... I haven't worked in a while, I went to college, wrote a couple of books..

I don't see myself living very well if I do the 9-5 thing. Some days I can function, some days I cannot.

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I've had extreme difficulties holding down jobs, I have dropped out of college twice, etc. Right now I am a manager of an adult store, which can be stressful (especially in the RETAIL HEL month of December,) but overall is pretty laid back and fun. I've been here for an unheard of two and a half years now.

I did have to take a short term disability leave for all of January. There was a shitton of stress at home not to mention how hard I have to work in December, and I was on Cipralex/Lexapro for anxiety too. Oops.

Anyway my benefits would only cover a month, I went off the Lexapro and continued my shitty dysphoric mania/mixed state Hel. Went back to work in February before I was ready but what can you do? My job has been very understanding. I got the BP diagnosis and first med trial at the end of February. Had to keep working through med stuff, but it was much easier for me by then even when I started slipping back into depression.

So, short answer, yes I have been, even though I am apparenly rather high functioning.

I would reccommend taking some short term disability time to see if you can stabilise with meds a bit first, before quitting I mean.

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I managed to go through college then hold down a full time teaching job for seventeen years while struggling with undiagnosed/unmedicated BP1. After a "breakdown" of ultradian cycling that culminated in a mixed episode that I was hospitalized for I lost my job and career. At that point my loving sister applied for disability on my behalf, thank goodness. Over the next three years I was hospitalized four more times for debilitating mixed episodes. In that time I was heavily medicated and unable to do much of anything besides sit and watch tv. Had I not had the disability income I would have been on the street.

My point is that for some of us getting on disability is not really optional. We need it to survive.

In the last year I have started and gotten let go from two jobs. In the last month I have gotten a part time job and work 10 hours a week. So far things are working out. I am hoping to increase the amount I am able to work as time goes on. Keep in mind that once on disability there is only a certain amount of money you can make and not have it deducted from your disability income. So you end up living around the poverty line.

If you have a career and an employer that is supportive of you, keep trying. Don't give up. Life on disability is no picnic.

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I applied for disability due to bipolar and extreme anxiety, and was denied. They said that even though I have obvious impairment when in social work situations (especially working with the public) that I could work at a warehouse or something like that where I wouldn't have to work in customer service. I guess from what I gather is they usually always deny you and you have to appeal and get a lawyer or something to win it. Its ok though, I found a great new job that lets me work doing data entry/medical billing and I don't have to work in customer service. It is really nice!

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Am so sorry to hear that :( No I would never think that a life on disability is easy. I wish I could tell you all what my job is but I want to remain 'undercover' here from my boss and others. The company I work for has a fmla , I asked HR about it a few days ago , she told me that with my doc's note and 'progress reports' I could go on medical leave and they can't give my job to someone else. I just need time to get my shit together and stabilize on these new meds. And take care of a medical issue that will require surgery next month. I'm not applying for disability with the state ..what I'm doing is taking leave from my job I guess I should have phrased the question different, I understand that they are two different things. Sorry for the confusion. I won't know yet if it is approved I have to meet with my pdoc (she's on vacation and I'd rather wait a few days for her to come back rather than speak with someone who is covering for her) . Hope that all makes sense .

I managed to go through college then hold down a full time teaching job for seventeen years while struggling with undiagnosed/unmedicated BP1. After a "breakdown" of ultradian cycling that culminated in a mixed episode that I was hospitalized for I lost my job and career. At that point my loving sister applied for disability on my behalf, thank goodness. Over the next three years I was hospitalized four more times for debilitating mixed episodes. In that time I was heavily medicated and unable to do much of anything besides sit and watch tv. Had I not had the disability income I would have been on the street.

My point is that for some of us getting on disability is not really optional. We need it to survive.

In the last year I have started and gotten let go from two jobs. In the last month I have gotten a part time job and work 10 hours a week. So far things are working out. I am hoping to increase the amount I am able to work as time goes on. Keep in mind that once on disability there is only a certain amount of money you can make and not have it deducted from your disability income. So you end up living around the poverty line.

If you have a career and an employer that is supportive of you, keep trying. Don't give up. Life on disability is no picnic.

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I have never had a full time job, and have never held a part time job for more then a year. I do far worse when working, due to collpsing under stress. I either become manic to the point of paranoia, depressed to the point of not moving. I was blessed enough to be approved for dissability on my first try with out ever going to court. I managed to finish shcool. I either get almost all A's or I drop out and get horrid grades.

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I was diagnosed with bipolar less than a year ago. It happened two weeks after my wedding. My wife is a saint and she is supporting me.

I can't work. I can't even make it to my appointments and I avoid my pdoc because I feel like he's in the pocket of the drug companies. Fuck that he is in the pocket of the drug companies. If you don't want to be paranoid about your doctor, never be in the office when the pharmaceutical rep is there. He's telling the doctor which drugs to try and perscribe more--the doctor said he would but too many of his patients are overweight. What the fuck?

Sorry, not super relevant.

Last job I had part time (Army National Guard, can you believe it) but that was when I was only sort of nuts, not raging nuts like a I am now. I too have dropped out of college twice and I just plain suck at school. It makes me angry at myself because I am "supposed" to be good at it.

Another not-answer to your question. I can't work and I'm considering applying for disability.

I fucking hope it gets better because shit is pretty rough right now. Trust me when I say the swearing is warranted.

Oh yeah, and I'm a brand new member. First post.

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I can't work. I can't even make it to my appointments and I avoid my pdoc because I feel like he's in the pocket of the drug companies. Fuck that he is in the pocket of the drug companies. If you don't want to be paranoid about your doctor, never be in the office when the pharmaceutical rep is there. He's telling the doctor which drugs to try and perscribe more--the doctor said he would but too many of his patients are overweight. What the fuck?

Oh yeah, and I'm a brand new member. First post.

First off, welcome to CB.

Many pdocs are visited by drug reps. Hell, the first year I took zyprexa (and trust me, it wasn't even the tenth medicine I tried) was funded almost entirely by pharm company samples. Doctors are not idiots, they don't prescribe a med simply because someone drops by a few samples and brochures.

But if you feel that strongly, you should a) find a new pdoc or b) get some therapy to deal with your paranoia.

PS: getting approved for disability is contingent on following a treatment plan to a tee and having lots of medical documentation to back up your disability claim. Avoiding your pdoc will get you nowhere, as how can you expect anyone to think you are that sick if you don't try to get better?

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