Jump to content

Why aren´t you working?

Recommended Posts

I say I've had to take time off work for health reasons. If they ask what kind of reasons, I say either a chronic illness, or pain (BP being the chronic illness, migraine being the pain). I don't go into further detail.


Usually I go on to say that I work with dogs when I am well, and turn the conversation in that direction.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 41
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

OH, if I had "paid attention" and actuaully read the OP's question!!!!!!!



 I guess I woukd have answerd a bit differently.  Someone just asked me this very type of question yesterday. They asked what I did for a living.I was so caught off gaurd.  What I told them was that I WAS a nurse (which is true),  bt that I'm BP and ADD and have very poor concentration and organization.  I lost many jos as a result (true). The psychiatrist and myself aggreed that disability was a wise option, so I appied and got it....That's what I told them, and that is the truth.


I'm kind of pissed though...Fucking nosey people need to worry about hemselves and not me....Of course, I'm pretty impulsive/honest, so if you sk, I'm likely to tell. I need to lean to bull-shit much better.  Now these people willl view me as a nut from here on out.

Edited by tomcat13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really love these answers that make it clear that we don't need to justify ourselves. I've taken the bait on this a couple of times and regretted it. But as a previous poster said, when I'm down I just can't get up, concentrate, etc. And when I'm manic I make no sense, make mistakes, and can't sit in my chair. It's not an easy decision for any of us to decide not to work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It isn't an easy decision. It's not some kind of holiday either. There's a lot of guilt, boredom, poverty and isolation that go along with it for me. I would be much happier working. So being judged for it would really suck. When I'm in between episodes I definitely want to be working, studying or a combination. But it's just too hard sometimes when you aren't well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Omgosh I get so tired of people asking me why I'm not working! And up to this point I have done my best to explain how I feel when I'm working..like the need to perform at a superior level or how overwhelmed I get at the concept of routine obligation...but noone ever has understood besides my mother,father,and step-mother who is a nurse. They have done enough research to understand bipolar disorder and accept my limitations. However, after reading these posts I no longer feel alone in this struggle, nor do I feel obligated to explain! I like the reply that asked if you would compare a breast cancer patient with a prostate cancer patient. We all have the same sickness, but we are not all the same in symptoms and thinking and social functioning..I, too, experience guilt, boredom, poverty, and isolation with not working...but I will not allow myself to be bullied into seeking validation from others who simply don't get it any longer. Thanks, everyone, for your awesome and totally relatable posts!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


(I am trying to explain to a relative the reasons why I am not able to work. This person doesn´t understand, since he says, he has a mentally ill friend who leads a highly functional life). I want to explain in detail, the symptoms that prevent me from working.

That is what my own mother told me before. It was really annoying. She made it sound as if I was making things up or simply that it's impossible to be disabled in any way by this disorder. I never was able to explain it to anybody because for one thing I never wanted to. I just quit another job last week but that is also bec of my adhd. I just tried to show her there are things I can do too given the right conditions and environment.

And I learned that it is not so much about what's wrong with me but with the kind of environment that I'm in. The problem is not that there are people in wheelchairs but that buildings don't have ramps. Society forgets to think about our welfare and focuses so much about judging us in what we can't do instead of helping us in ways on how we can function well. It's pretty f**** up so don't get your hopes up for any normal person to understand any of this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with the others, you don't owe an explanation re: why you can't work. If someone can't grasp the idea that you can be unwell enough to work, for whatever reason, then it's likely any form of explanation will be met with ignorance. 


If you really want to try and explain, then you need to look at your personal symptoms that prevent you from working. That differs for everyone. Is it depression, mood fluctuations, anxiety? 

Sorry Vapourware, this is an additional comment and completely unrelated but I cant help but notice Dug right there!!! As your avatar. I just.. I memorized all Dug's line.

"Have you seen a bird? I want to find one. And I've been sent on a special mission to find the bird... I am a great tracker. Have I mentioned that?" Lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You shouldn't have to explain yourself. A person without a severe mental illness can never understand the mind of someone in the depths of...a severe mental illness.


To answer your question, thankfully I can get by with freelance writing. That does a lot for me. It allows me to be free if that makes any sense. I still need assistance, but at least I can summon some kind of income on my own. But the truth is I couldn't handle a "real" job. The reasons for this are:


  • Any kind of stress sets me off 
  • I'm rigid as a rock with paranoia related to other people and meeting societal expectations
  • My medications, even though they keep me stable when necessary, sap me of drive
  • I literally feel like I've taken LSD, and am forced on a horrific mind trip, when introduced to a traditional work environment and this just doesn't bode well

You know what, maybe that makes me weak. But I'm done trying to mold myself into something I'm not. Time is on my side, and time has told me that I can't handle simple work the way most are able to. It's just the reality of reality for me. I do what I can to provide for myself and to spread tangible value through traditional societal avenues. This is me and this is what I'm capable of. I still strive to explore and to grow as a person in this life, but I truthfully can't handle real work. To those that can, I give all the credit in the world.


Sorry for the rant everyone. Emotion made its way into this post and this time of the year is a very bad time for me with all of the mania, madness, and cycling. I hope to have provided some value or insight but when all is said and done, one must never have to abide by the rules of explanation as far as work, severe mental illness, and the inability for the two to mesh. This is especially true when concerning severe bipolar disorder or schizoaffective bipolar type (hopefully the schizoaffective part is relevant I saw this post tagged as such).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't work because of tiredness concentration lack of that is, depression realism and psychosis sometimes but I don't trust the doc's answer but from here on out am fighting the worlds worse illness but seeing the moon brighten up into the stars of government fighting death in fact having problems now but lack of energy sucks can't think on my own its sad really i wanted to be a pilot or a psychologist but handling it is like two cats or birds acting like the human condition sad fight but rising up in power I am sorry very sorry but i am so tired like school, remember those days long ago into the blackness of hopelessness of depression. Focus. Down the street as an artist is begging. The voices are scary at times and visions suck like the blood. Blank mind but the gov likes my mind. so that is why i can't work. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's hard for some people to understand our reasons for not working because some of us are great actors and actresses when we want to be putting on award-winning shows of normalcy. Acting normally around others may seem a necessary and innate response but can set you up for those sorts of questions/challenges.

I know one of my friends can't understand why I don't have a permanent job yet. She's too polite to say anything but reading between the lines it's obvious she's prejudiced and it hurts that she won't come right out and say something so that I could help her understand why things are like this for me.

Nobody would ever ask a cancer patient why they can't work because it is easier to understand. Not necessarily more justified but easier. It's a physical illness and we can all imagine the pain and complications that go along with it. Mental illness is harder to understand for most people as they haven't experienced it and can't "see" it. I think the original question stems from ignorance not maliciousness. Answering "because my doctor said so" is totally legitimate but is actually missing the chance to educate someone (no less a family member) about this disorder.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My mother-in-law once described a relative as having a "real" disability, because it's physical and visible, so I guess she thinks mine isn't real?  Stress exacerbates my symptoms: psychosis, mood swings, anxiety, but I don't go into an explanation.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think im getting to a point where i can't work anymore. Between my Bipolar, Anxiety disorder and fibromyalgia...im at my wits end. Im getting really bad at hiding my symptoms. I left work early today bc i felt trapped and smothered. The walls were closing in on me, plus I've been depressed for the past few weeks now. Idk what to do. I just got my own place and have been trying to get a car.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't ever believe you're lazy. I mean, not because of this illness. I often ask that to myself too, if I'm just "lazy". But then I look at the times when I am stable and in the proper condition and environment, I can be more productive than regular normal people.


It's just that when I'm struck by a mood swing, there's no telling where my motivation and energy will go and when it will come back. Sometimes, my brain doesn't even work. They don't know what it's like to live with it. And when I'm doing okay, they think that I'm praying again or thinking positive again, that they told me so... blah blah. And when I'm not doing good, well they just think I'm lazy and I'm being negative which is just reveals how little they know.


It's their lack of education. So I just learned not to care anymore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The main reason I'm not working currently is because I'm a mum to my adorable kiddo.


The symptoms that have prevented me from working for 5 odd yrs are mainly extreme social anxiety; depression and psychosis. I'm studying by distance in the hope of returning to work (from home).   I'm going to try getting back to work again...last time I didn't succeed ( did a voc. rehab program). But I'm really hopeful that this time will be different...I really want to work, for both of us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

It's just that when I'm struck by a mood swing, there's no telling where my motivation and energy will go and when it will come back. Sometimes, my brain doesn't even work. They don't know what it's like to live with it. And when I'm doing okay, they think that I'm praying again or thinking positive again, that they told me so... blah blah. And when I'm not doing good, well they just think I'm lazy and I'm being negative which is just reveals how little they know.

Yeah, this is exactly my problem as well.

Edited by Teacup
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Similar Content

    • By troop111
      Have any of you had or have read of gabapentin being of use as an adjunctive therapy for people with treatment resistant depression/anxiety/bipolar?
      I have been doing research and some sources say it helps, others say there is no strong clinical proof. I think a lot of the conflicting reports I have seen has to do with it simply not being studied en mass.
      Any advice/experiences regarding this? If so, what was your dosing?
      Thank you!
    • By lauraishere
    • By Aeiou62
      I need some energy, some motivation, some good manic voodoo. Why cant i have that without losing my damn fool mind.?
      Hasnt anyone looked at that? Why must I be either lazy and lethargic or 90mph? Im always tired, always fatigued. I need to know how to get my mojo going WITHOUT my kookoo taging along every time. I cant believe nobody has studied this.
    • By braindeadbedhead
      This is a long shot, but I figure I can't be the only one who has ever had this thought. Is there a way to induce a state that includes the productivity/happiness of mania - without all the extra bullshit? 😅
      Mania is better than any drug, the euphoria is incomparable. Every time I skip a few days of sleep, feel an increase in energy, or anything that might be the beginning of an episode, I think - ''Please let this be the onset of the best feeling in the world. I can't do this shit anymore''. I feel so guilty admitting to that, because I know that being manic and being functional are generally not compatible. I also don't ever want to end up in hospital again, because that never fails to be a de-humanizing experience.
      I have not had any symptoms of mania since my last hospital admission, three whole years ago. It was the first and only manic episode that I've ever had, and it lasted for about three months. I feel like I could have avoided hospital completely if I had experienced mania without the accompanying psychosis. If I could just achieve that level of elation without:
      rapid speech word-salad delusional beliefs dangerously impulsive acts (e.g. jumping out of a car on the highway because the sky looked beautiful and I wanted a loser look) I look back on those ugly symptoms and I could never cope with them now. I go to college full-time, I work, and I have so much to lose if I lost the ability to communicate with others and behave safely. On the other hand - my life just feels so damn gray and stagnant; I miss feeling invincible. 
    • By csr
      For the last 20 years i am taking, 800mg Lithium, 200mg Quitipine, 150mg Serlift, 150mg of Bioprion, 0.75 of Alprozolam.  I am now 54 years. Life is going on by God Grace. 
       Physiological Problems Either 
      Mental Illness   2. Behaviour 
      In Behaviour  special children  in public places Masterbating, or touching the Genetical Parts or Touching Chin....... 
      For me, from the age of 28 years to till now, I did not go to the above extreme, but 
      Whenever I go outside I used to see Ladies private parts, then my mind change to normal. I was working many firms for the  lost 30 years. 
      Now I am facing shame is , my daughter 22 years. When we go outside me, wife and daughter, I did the same thing and my daughter noticed also. Still many responsibility for me, like my daughter marriage, then there is  a  functions etc. 
      So I want your advise. I need to have Therapy or Physiatrist Doctor. Can you pls advise. 
      I have been on Sertaline 100mg for the last 20 years and for the last 5 years Buprion 150mg XL (to reduce the smoking, i reduced to 4 per day). As i said above an example, i find very hypersexuality and i find one article today. Here i enclosed here.
        My question: how to replace Sertaline 100mg and will stop Buproin 150mg completely. Can anyone give suggestion Pls.

  • Create New...