BP and jobs/work

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CounterClockwise
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 11/26/2006 12:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear all,
 

Well, a few people have mentioned issues with working and/or holding down jobs recently; so I thought I'd start a thread dedicated to this issue. You could

  • bring stories of triumph or success,
  • give advice on how to tell or avoid telling employers about your bp,
  • debate the pros and cons of telling employers about your bp,
  • suggest organisations that help with employees' rights in these situations,
  • offer any other advice or insights you may have on the topic.

Happy posting! :)

Rosie x


********************

People are not like fish: they do not work well battered.

When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded...

********************

 
Moderator, Bipolar Forum


CounterClockwise
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 11/26/2006 12:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I'll start with one that I think is relevant for all of us here:

Anything on your work computer legally "belongs" to your employer. Most companies don't investigate what sites their employees are browsing (unless they are worried about illegal activities), but it is worth remembering that your privacy is not guaranteed if you use work time (or even just a work pc) to post on this site.

So, if you don't want your employer to know about your bp, it's always advisable to restrict the times and places you log on to HW to out-of-work.

(Btw, I've used my work pc to post on HW in the past, and nothing's come back to bite me, but I know it's not wise, and these days I just post from home.)

Rosie x
********************

People are not like fish: they do not work well battered.

When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded...

********************

 
Moderator, Bipolar Forum


LadyDragonfly
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 11/27/2006 1:19 AM (GMT -7)   
I think you have to share the BP with your insurance company if you have it through work. I'd be making sure that they will respect your privacy under HIPAA, because your doctor has to protect it. Ask questions.

I don't know that telling your employer you have bipolar illness is a very good idea. I think it subjects you to scrutiny and judgment that you don't need. My employer doesn't know about the bipolar diagnosis, but my immediate supervisor does. They know about my lupus diagnosis, because that does impinge on my work performance from time to time. It is strictly needs to know for me.

The advice about the work computer is brilliant. I own my work computer and what is on it is mine, but I work at home and I have other safety issues. I'd follow Rosie's VERY sound advice.
The Lady Dragonfly
Yes, it was me...I know because I was there when I did it. Lupus sufferer, bipolar II sufferer. Currently on Indocin for chronic pericarditis related to lupus, and cherishing every deep breath without pain. Currently in graduate school for mental health counseling, class of Fall 2007. Vegan and loving it!


Jade11
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 12/5/2006 5:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I have not told my current employer that I have bipolar disorder.  Nor have I told my last few employers about it.  There really is no reason for me to do so.  I have been perfectly stable and functioning well enough.  I also don't have insurance through my work so there is no way that they would know there either.
 
Intersting though because sometimes I wonder if people at work might know.  I work with my ex-boyfriend's sister.  I had told my ex when I was dating him that I had bipolar disorder.  Sometimes I wonder if he may have told his sister about it.  If his sister knows she could tell other people at work.  This is probably being a little paranoid and lookind into things a little too much. 

D_J
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 12/5/2006 7:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Telling your employer that you have Bipolar Disorder may not be a good idea. I think that as long as you perform well at work, its really nobody's business. When things have gotten bad in the past, I've just written it off to employers as "unfortunate personal circumstances" or something vague that they can relate to. While that's not being completely truthful, I've seen openly Bipolar people getting run off of jobs. Of course this is illegal, but employers are smart enough to document and get rid of you for reasons that are "unconnected" to the disorder.

In my opinion, telling them may just lead to greater scrutiny of your work. Unfortunately, unless they have this disorder, employers or supervisors just won't have accurate knowledge of how this affects you. Let's face it, even studying the Grand Canyon in a book is not nearly the same as standing at its brim. Every situation is unique. If you feel comfortable in telling them, then do so. If you are unsure, error on the safe side and wait.

Thankfully, my current job as a Geologist on oil rigs isn't really impeded by BP. Most of my work related problems in the past have dealt with coworkers that I'm friends with. I just don't feel normal being around them when depressed though my work typically doesn't suffer. With this present job, I work within small groups of people that constantly change with each different well we drill. Its nice for me because different people have no preconcieved knowledge of who I am. Being a quiet person at times is fine, as long as people don't know you as a very social person.

Work will probably always be a challenging aspect of life for people with BP disorder. However, if your medication is effective, long term periods of stability will get you long term rapport with any employer. If constantly having noticeable problems, this obviously influences their decisions as well. Personally, I'm fortunate to have few problems when taking my medications consistently.

-D

wmnak
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 12/6/2006 12:53 PM (GMT -7)   
i, too have seen people with mental illness get relieved from work, as well as people who are black, and women, end jews, and catholics, etc.  the nice thing about being bp is that it doesn't usually show. 
 
i didn't know that i was bp when i was working.  i spent most of my career in in computer industry, where everyone back then was a little bit crazy.  i was known to work all day and party all night. then work quietly and go home and sleep.  also, when a new system was being inmplem,ented, everyone would hang out at the near-by pubor watering hole "just in case."  my behavior was screwy, but accpetable with this set of crazies.  but there is a broad range of behaviors which are considered "normal" and an even larger range that are considered "ok if only marginally acceptable".
 
under us privacy law, if you employer provides your health insurance, you employer's insurance people may know your diagnosis.  you supervisor and co-workers cannot.  if there is a breach of security and they find out you can retire off of the law suit.  if you employer does not provide health insurance, it's none of his/her bleedin' business.
 
tell an employer?  i don't trust any of them.
 
warren
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