For those that do not work full time due to bipolar........................

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Precious Gem
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   Posted 11/17/2009 6:15 AM (GMT -7)   
For those that do not work full time due to Bipolar 1 or 11, what was the turning point, meaning when did you know that you were much better off out of the mainstream workplace?  Somedays I cannot imagine not working, some days I can barely get through the day.  Not stable on meds and not feeling good for more than an hour or two a day.  Really thinking I need to re-think everything about my routine...........I know statisically speaking roughly 40% of people with Bipolar 1 are unable to work.  Some days I am happy to have the distraction, others it feels so wrong to be there.
 
Just looking for some insight.  Have PDoc appt on Friday, hope we can make some progress soon.
 
Gem

red lightening
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Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 11/17/2009 6:37 AM (GMT -7)   
I have had trouble with work because I get severe depression a couple
times a year and have to quit my job. I have had over 40 different jobs.
I was turned down the first time I tried for disability, (which I know is common.)
So I've just decided to get another job and work it as best and as long as I
can and when I fall apart I'll have to go without income again for awhile until
I start over again. I can keep a job about 4 months before crashing. I have BPII.

Precious Gem
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Date Joined Oct 2008
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   Posted 11/17/2009 6:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your post Red.  I am BP1, I am more on the manic side, bothered very little by depression.  I am very fortunate that I had enough foresight a few years back to take the option to pay for long and short term disability.  It will only pay 70% of your salary for 2 years for mental disorders, but at that time and given my age, switching to regular disability probably will not be a big issue.  On very unstable days, the thought is very appealing.  I am really considering talking to my Dr. about this on Friday.
 
Hope your day turns out to be a good one.
Gem

Kiraz
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 11/17/2009 7:13 AM (GMT -7)   
I was successful for a few years managing a music school for my parents. When they added on another program, and I took on a fulltime outside job, I lasted a few months before I started to crash. I was reaching way beyond my endurance level, looking back I can only guess I was in a stable manic episode, able to direct my energy towards being productive. This crash was the most devastating to me though, losing family, my son, my home, friends, my job, etc etc.

After that, I managed to find a job managing a small warehouse. I stayed there for about a year, mainly because my boss understood that some days, some weeks, I couldn't function at the same level as other weeks. The work was laid back, with long periods during the day where I could rest if needed, or work at long term projects such as efficiency inside the warehouse.

When I was laid off, I started a list of all the jobs I had held, which lasted the longest, which I felt had been the best. That's what made me realize that I couldn't really function in a work environment without serious flexibility and understanding for my disorder.

In the last few years, I've worked seasonal jobs only, and never made the final cut. Always I burn out quickly, or my migraines end the job for me.

I've been looking at going on disability for a few years now, but never had the motivation to seriously pursue it. Thankfully my husband is the major breadwinner in this house, and my work brings in play money, not bill money.

Precious Gem
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1139
   Posted 11/17/2009 7:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Kiraz,
Thanks for the imput.  You are lucky as well that you have a supportive husband.  In reading about BP1, the type of work I do is probably the worst I could be doing, very repetitive and when you are manic you feel like you are going to spin off the face of the earth.  I have alot of anxiety on top of that, or anxiety may just go a long with mania, not sure.  I am suppose to start counseling once I am stable on meds.  Like anyone in my situation, that is just not going to come fast enough.
 
Thanks,
Gem

happy bill
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Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1132
   Posted 11/17/2009 8:32 AM (GMT -7)   

 

   I am also very manic, only suffering depression when it gets dark out in nov-mar. But i manage to keep my jobs because i had the luck of finding two jobs that really keep me interested. I'm a full time firefighter who had the flexability on shift to do different jobs as the sprit moves me. My other job is as a Loss Prevention Dectitive for Sears. I'm at one of the busiest stores in the company in regards to catching bad guys so every day is something new. Again my job allows me a lot of leeway as to what i do and when i do it. So that flexability really helps keep me interested.

   I did work for a while at a repetitive  job but that was a disaster for me. My mind was allways racing.

   Bill 


Precious Gem
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Date Joined Oct 2008
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   Posted 11/17/2009 8:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Mine too Bill.  My mind races 95 miles a minute 24/7.  I have not looked for other work recently because there are not alot of jobs open where I live, anywhere I guess in these times.  I am going to talk to PDoc about it on Friday and get some input from him.  Can I ask what meds you are on and which one(s) help with calming the mind down?
 
Thanks,
Gem

serafena
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 11/17/2009 10:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Gem,

I think this is very worth talking about with your doctor. My doc flat out told me to quit my job a few months ago because it was causing me so much stress, and it was just a part time job! Your health has to come first. And going unemployed isn't your only option: as Bill said, choosing something else which keeps you interested, or choosing something less stressful, or part-time may help your health a lot, even if it puts a dent in your finances. You will adapt, though, and in the end be happier for it. Alternatively, your doc may have some advice about continuing your current job and minimizing your stress.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER


Precious Gem
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1139
   Posted 11/17/2009 10:53 AM (GMT -7)   

Thanks Serafena,

I do need to be reminded that I have to put myself first sometimes.  After being a mother, wife and looking after two elderly parents for so long, I just kind of moved myself to the bottom of the list.  I know now (children almost grown, parents deceased) that it is very important, especially now that I have gotten a crystal clear diagnosis, to take care of me.  I must admit I have not had a great run the last couple of weeks with med and I am partially to blame.  No, I am totally to blame.  I do not know what my mental block about meds is, but as soon as I feel better, or the slightest discomfort arises, I stop taking them.  Back on now, but not feeling well at all and I am ready to run from this building screaming.  I cannot tell you how many times I have driven half way to the ER dept at the nearby hospital at lunch, suicide thoughts, chest pains, shortness of breath...........etc.  I have PDoc appt Friday and am looking forward to it.  I hope he shares my feelings about life changes as well.

Thanks again,

Gem


happy bill
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1132
   Posted 11/17/2009 11:38 AM (GMT -7)   

 

  Hey Precious Gem, i'm on respreridone (probally not the right spelling) turn   LOL LOL  I was on abilify which helped a little, when my doc prescribed the respreidone it was like someone turning on a light switch in a dark room. I suddenly had the ability to see the world like a normal person. It really calmed my racing mind and sexual/spending/dangerous urges.  Now i said calmed, they never really go away and on some days they are louder than others. that said i have found more days of peace this last year than i have ever had before. ANd all those days of calm help give me the rest and strenght to fight the days when they are louder, which thankfully isnt many.

   Hope this helps.

    Bill


Precious Gem
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1139
   Posted 11/17/2009 12:09 PM (GMT -7)   

Yes Bill, it did help and thank you for sharing with me.  I feel like I am still in that dark room feeling all over the walls for the switch!  I will find it!

Thanks,

Gem


jlodgesfryer
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 11/19/2009 8:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello all,

I'm new to this forum, but unfortunately not new to bipolar. I was originally diagnosed with bipolar at the age of 20. Shortly after that I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder as well. Now I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia to add to my difficulties. Over the years I have made several attempts to work both full-time and part-time but the cycling moods and personality changes have made keeping a job difficult. With the addition of the fibro, working some days in all but impossible. After I lost my last job, I had given up the hope of ever being able to work again. Being only 33, this was not something that was encouraging or helpful to my depression. Lately I have been struggling to make it through the hour without giving in to the pain and the depression. A few weeks ago, I was lucky to finally find a company that not only understands what I'm going through, but also cares about me as a person and an employee. The best part about this job is that I get to work at home. On the days when my pain and depression are at their worst, I can lay in bed on my laptop and still complete my day of work. While this is only a part-time position, for me it works. I am able to add some income to my budget without endangering my SSDI. It also gives me a way to fill a few hours of my day with productive accomplishments. I am thankful for the opportunity that has been given to me and would like to share this information with anyone who is interested. I think having the opportunity to succeed in work is something that should be offered to everyone, no matter what disability they might have. For right now, I'm working to make it through the day. Hopefully this new employment opportunity will help me to get to a place where that is no longer the case.
Hope this is helpful,
Stephanie Fryer
J Lodge HR Support


Precious Gem
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1139
   Posted 11/20/2009 6:06 AM (GMT -7)   
That is great that you can work from home on your own schedule!  I think I would be a great candidate for that.  The happiest, most stable times in my life were when I did not have to work.  I am a happy "Martha Stewart" kind of home person.  I hope today finds you feeling well and your post has encouraged me to just not give up on work, but find another path!
 
Have a great week-end (wow, can you tell my meds are kicking in and I feel better today?  I think so)............ turn
 
Gem

sukay
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1432
   Posted 11/20/2009 7:32 AM (GMT -7)   

I'm always open to the idea of going back to work, especially part-time at the beginning.

What scares me the most is that sometimes I feel so "right-on" and on top of everything, focusing and feeling like I have my sh-t together.  Then the next day my mind is all over the place and I can't follow anything!  I hate that.  I try to handle things over the phone and I sound like I don't even know what the heck I am talking about because I can't even follow my own thought pattern!  The worst is when your dealing with someone face to face trying to explain something!

I can't imagine having a job and going to work like that...able to function one day and not the next!

I had to laugh.  The other day I was in a Hallmark store w/my daughter.  A older lady cashier was like....hmmm, what should I do?...Oh, I'll ring you up.  Then in the middle of ringing us up she stopped to start wrapping up some of our items.  Then the phone rang.  Then after that she lost track of what she was doing and asked us what she needed to do next.  There was 1 other lady in the store but she was busy.  Thankfully the store wasn't busy at the time!

I had to laugh, but it was very sad too.  I told my daughter that if I had a job, that would be ME!  I could totally relate to how this woman felt. 

Still hoping for better days.

Good luck on your appointment today Precious Gem.  Let us know how it goes. blush


~sukay~
 Bipolar - 2004
     Crohns disease - 1995 
Arthritis & Fibromyalgia 
 
Leo Buscaglia


Precious Gem
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1139
   Posted 11/20/2009 7:40 AM (GMT -7)   

That describes me exactly, one day on top of the game, the next can not link thoughts or actions together if I tried extra hard.  This is what is so frustrating to me now.  I have got to follow a different path to help myself get as well as I can be or something bad is coming my way, I can feel it.  So I am taking one step at a time to get myself to a good place.

Gem


serafena
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 11/20/2009 8:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Me too. One day great. Next day a pudding. A grouchy, weepy pudding. It's taking me so long to get through the work that I have to do at home: namely grading and planning (the bulk of my job) because I can't concentrate well anyway and on my off days it's impossible. It's been so frustrating. I want to work. I want to do something meaningful with my life. I feel this internal pressure to have a career and sort of like a failure if I don't. Yet I can't help but question whether I should even be putting myself through this with all the heartache it causes (for me.) But I keep plugging on. It's only 2 classes.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 11/20/2009 8:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi jlodgesfryer,

Welcome. It's good to have you join our board. I hope your new job goes well for you!

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER


_Christina
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Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 11/21/2009 12:42 PM (GMT -7)   

I have BPII.  My PSY says there is no way that I should even try to get a job.  I can barly survive keeping my home functioning.  The stress of insufficient income is almost as bad as working, though.  Food banks, collection calls, public assistance, and worrying about making ends meet so we can pay for all the things like Dr visits and meds and children's needs and such.  I have applied for SSDI, but BP is an invisible disability and the lawyer says that it could be 2 years before we get a favorable decision. 

I am constantly asked why I don't work- but even the thought of trying to get a job is terrifying.  I know that I would not hire me, so I don't expect anyone else to.


 Christina
Even though I do not understand where I am going on the path that God has laid out for me, I must submit to His plan and trust that He will take me where I need to be. 
 
Current medications:
Bipolar treatment-Lamictal, 200mg, Mood stabelizer, daily(main side effect: brain fog) Bipolar treatment-Cymbalta, 40mg, Antidepressant, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting, insominia) Anemia, Fatigue treatment- Iron supplement, 65mg, daily(main side effect: constipation) Insominia treatment- Ambien, 10mg, daily(main side effect: amnesia eppisodes between taking pill and falling asleep) Mania treatment- Alprazolam, .25mg, Very rarely(main side effect: fatigue, slowing of thoughts, depression of CNS, can't take ambien or vicodin when on it) RA treatment- Plaquenil, 400mg, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting) RA treatment- Methotrexate, 25mg, 1X weekly(main side effects: hair loss, stomach upset, mouth sores, sore muscles, fatigue, brain fog, compromised immune system, decreased Folic Acid absorption) GI upset treatment- Leucovorin Calcium, 10mg 1x weekly(main side effects: ?) Folic Acid defintioncy- Folic Acid, 1mg, daily(main side effects: ?) Multi-mineral Supplement (main side effects: constipation, GI upset) Constipation treatment- Docusate Sodium, 200mg, daily(main side effects:?) pain control- Motrin, 800mg, PRN Q6hours daily(main side effects: GI upset, decreased clotting) Pain Control- Vicodin, 5-500mg, PRN Q12hours 3-4 times weekly (main side effects: brain fog, fatigue)
 
 
 
 


serafena
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 11/22/2009 8:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Even though it may take 2 years to get a positive decision, it's still worth doing. In 2 years you'll be better off, and for now, you'll be no worse off.

I haven't had to apply for it yet, but what I've gleaned over the past couple of years, is that it's crucial to have plenty of medical evidence to back your claim up: medical records going back as far as you can, establishing your history of illness and incapacity for work. Letters from your doc, etc. There are some good sites on the web which specifically discuss the best ways to apply for SSID with a mental illness, and it's worth researching.

In the mean time, remember that all this added stress is compounding your medical issues. Try to be as good to yourself as you can. If you can't go to therapy, find a BP support group in your area. Take care of yourself.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER


_Christina
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 11/22/2009 9:01 PM (GMT -7)   
this is my BP support group.
 Christina
Even though I do not understand where I am going on the path that God has laid out for me, I must submit to His plan and trust that He will take me where I need to be. 
 
Current medications:
Bipolar treatment-Lamictal, 200mg, Mood stabelizer, daily(main side effect: brain fog) Bipolar treatment-Cymbalta, 40mg, Antidepressant, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting, insominia) Anemia, Fatigue treatment- Iron supplement, 65mg, daily(main side effect: constipation) Insominia treatment- Ambien, 10mg, daily(main side effect: amnesia eppisodes between taking pill and falling asleep) Mania treatment- Alprazolam, .25mg, Very rarely(main side effect: fatigue, slowing of thoughts, depression of CNS, can't take ambien or vicodin when on it) RA treatment- Plaquenil, 400mg, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting) RA treatment- Methotrexate, 25mg, 1X weekly(main side effects: hair loss, stomach upset, mouth sores, sore muscles, fatigue, brain fog, compromised immune system, decreased Folic Acid absorption) GI upset treatment- Leucovorin Calcium, 10mg 1x weekly(main side effects: ?) Folic Acid defintioncy- Folic Acid, 1mg, daily(main side effects: ?) Multi-mineral Supplement (main side effects: constipation, GI upset) Constipation treatment- Docusate Sodium, 200mg, daily(main side effects:?) pain control- Motrin, 800mg, PRN Q6hours daily(main side effects: GI upset, decreased clotting) Pain Control- Vicodin, 5-500mg, PRN Q12hours 3-4 times weekly (main side effects: brain fog, fatigue)
 
 
 
 


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 11/22/2009 9:39 PM (GMT -7)   
LOL. I hear ya. Mine too.

(But you know what I mean!)
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER


Precious Gem
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1139
   Posted 11/23/2009 7:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Dr visit went well.  We tweaked my meds and so far no worse off.  We talked about work, he wants me to think about cutting my hours back, stop working on the week-end and see how I fare.  There are some days I actually am glad to be at work and others I feel I am barley functioning.  Maybe med adjustment will help.
Hope everyone had a great week-end.
Gem

jlodgesfryer
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 11/24/2009 6:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Christina,

I agree with Serafena, you should definitely not give up on trying to get SSDI. As the years go by, it seems the time it takes to get approved for disability take longer and longer. I was denied when I first applied for disability. I had to work with an attorney to finally get approval but it was worth the battle. There have been times when I have been unable to work for various reasons and it has been helpful having a guaranteed income.
Hope this is helpful,
Stephanie Fryer
J Lodge HR Support

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