Thank you all so much. Yesterday while I posted my issue I just felt so alone, so reading your kind words of support and recognition at the indignity of this is so validating of my feelings about this.
From my experience with this, I have learned that, for me, the pain of being stigmatized was just as bad as some of the devastating depressions I went through prior to medication.
Given that there are effective medications moreso than at any other time in history, it seems tragic that we still have to deal with stigmitization, or the risk of it at any time.
Thank you for the link Serafina about dealing with the breach of confidentiality. At the time this occurred, I just didn't have the courage or the support to face any of this down. In fact posting here is this first time I have opened up about this outside of my family. I liked what you said about just being open about bipolar, and challenging anybody who has a problem with it! Sounds good, and I know I don't have the courage for that yet.
I would be interested in hearing about what others have experienced when it comes to being stigmatized, and the labelling that psychiatric diagnosis brings on. It's funny in a way, because when I finally did see a psychiatrist and was diagnosed and had effective medication, I was just so grateful, grateful to be well and have hope again. And yet the wider world can use this against us as a put-down anytime...I don't get it.
As I said, thank you all so much for responding and sharing your kind support.
Don't blame you for feeling violated and paranoid.
My subordinates, my supervisors, and other personnel I come into contact with regularly know I am bipolar and know that I had a breakdown requiring hospitalization this spring. I don't feel much discrimination because they have that knowledge, thankfully. In this I am very fortunate.
I do use this as an opportunity to prove to any doubters that people with bipolar disorder (and depression and anxiety, which I've also had) can continue to make a significant contribution in the workplace. Hopefully, my doing so, with some of the people anyway, I can make things easier for others with mental disorders. I use it also as something for me to strive for - to continue to be the exemplary employee I think I was before my latest and worst exacerbation.