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My psychosis lasted for 4 months. I was a frequent on Facebook at that time, having at least 600+ friends. I was a kid who loved posting stuff at that time, almost every two days once. And also I loved chatting with my friends through messages. Can you even imagine what happened? My employer to be, was on my Facebook and also I met with him DURING my psychosis. It went pretty awkward though he was nice enough to act like everything was okay.


Here's the upsides: Those people on my Facebook were people whom I didn't really know so what they thought didn't matter. Plus all my friends were good enough to not make of it a big deal so I didn't really chase away any friends...except maybe one or two.


Here's the downside: Okay tbh actually none, since the people who were weirded out weren't close to me-deducted with reason.


But still, I failed to make a good impression with that potential employer..before any of you think "how is that so bad?", let me explain: He really liked my work and he was spreading the word about how good I am. He had high regards for me. He was quite influential in the industry I was heading to and he has many connections. See, gold mine right? Too bad I can't even get the guts to talk to him now. I'm so embarrassed. Tip: Never have anyone you want to impress on Facebook. I was pretty down trodden at that time.


Also, another downside to this is that I totally feel embarrassed about it sometimes like when I'm studying and stuff, what I posted/did during my episode just pops into my head and I feel kind of mortified. The people around me have been supportive and assured me that they understood but I still feel a little bit embarrassed especially when I need to visit family or something knowing that they saw what I posted. What do I do? What was your experience recovering? Another negative effect is that since my episode had somewhat religious themes, I have kind of eschewed religion and God and things like that. Because 

1) I was considering the possibility of there having no God for a while even before this hit me. (scientific reasons)

2) My life wasn't' a very good one even though I tried hard to be a good person and I was. (emotional reason) This psychosis was just the point break, the last straw.

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I think that therapy would be helpful to you to learn how to accept yourself. There is nothing shameful about being psychotic. The people close to you understand that. I wouldn't worry about people with whom I wasn't close. As to the employer ... can you talk it over with him? If you can't that's ok too. There are other fish in the sea.

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There are a lot of people in public life and employment, if schizophrenia affects one in every hundred people in my country (the UK) then even with a lot of those not able to work, many people do. I've met people who have careers and public lives who have had a episode like yours. And yes, damage is done. But people who know you and see your value as a colleague will hold onto that, more often than you think. 


Nail Gaiman, author of several bestsellers says that you will likely get freelance work if you:

  • Make good work
  • Are pleasant to work with
  • Get work done on time.

His next point interested me more, you only need two out of three. If you make good work and get it in on time, being a little unpleasant and or/episodic is something that some employers can and will overlook. Any employer wants to know that your health is taken care of, you are managing your schizophrenia and that you will keep trade secrets and data confidential. But from working in HR, the existence of social media changes what employers knows about their workers. And when that world is changing, there is some grace to make mistakes, if you can clear up the mess. Maybe that boss has had their own experience of mental illness, or it has affected a loved one? One in four people suffer from a mental health problem, there is a high chance he has some understanding.


If this person is someone who you either want/need to work with or who is going to have an influence over your future career or someone you need on side, maybe it is worth a casual note to see if he has time to catch up. If he seems open to that, you can meet face to face, explain that it was an episode and you are making sure that there won't be a repeat incident and thank him for his support. It takes courage to go to someone as a professional equal and make a problem right. And that is what many bosses want, employees with guts and integrity. At this point, you've nothing lost, eh?


In an ideal world, when we make a public fuck up, we'd have insight into it. It does hurt to have lost that. But this could be the best lesson in learning to manage your illness and protect yourself from this happening again. 

Edited by Titania
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