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Working with Mental Illness


Missyx

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I do as well. My depression makes getting a job very difficult. I have to convince people that they should hire me when I can barely convince myself that life is worth living! Because of my lack of motivation, I have tended to end up with very low-level jobs in poor working environments, which when coupled with my fragile mental health lead me to quit. I am currently unemployed and am pushing myself to find a better job. Fortunately, I have been receiving a lot of support from those close to me.

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I struggle with working each week. It can be overwhelming and I take lots of breaks and pretend I'm working in the back warehouse. I find ways to delegate work or pass on some work to the factory. So far so good with that. However, my job will be ending at the end of the year and I don't know what I am going to do.🙁

BW

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14 hours ago, Missyx said:

Curious if anyone really struggles to keep their job with mental illness?

I do!

 

Oh yeah, for sure. Every day. I've got a managerial position and it's really tough for me to deal with "my" employees on the one hand and my boss on the other. And then there are all the meetings I have to attend and act like I'm engaged.

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I struggle everyday!!!! I have to force myself to get up and work and it’s doesn’t make it any better that I work from home. When I was working outside the home it was easier to get up and go to work because I had something to look forward to but this situation has made me realize how depressed I really am and it’s scary. I had weekly meetings on Mondays via phone with my manager and other coworkers and it drives me crazy. I think if I didn’t have mental illnesses I would be able to let things ago that annoy me about my coworkers but nope!!!!

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7 hours ago, CoffeeAddict103 said:

I am currently unemployed as well and worried about my CV/Resume gaps.

Depression and resume gaps make an awful cycle. If you have a resume gap due to depression, it is harder to get a job, while continuing to be unemployed contributes to depression. Hopefully we can somehow break this cycle.

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I've lost every job I ever had because of mental illness.  I got my first job at 11 mowing grass and I've had hundreds of jobs since and lost them all.  The work I do now is mostly odd jobs for friends and family and it's really just a way for them to watch me more than anything.

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Yes I do very much. But it's mainly because of the people not the work or doing the work. If I could work with robots🤖 then there would be no problems or arguments. If someone orders a hamburger just make the dam hamburger and send it on down the line. If we need to stock or clean, do your part, and don't leave it for someone else. ☺ low level employment stories 

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Yes. To me biggest question how anyone with mental illness can. But then again, they do not have mine and each kind is different. I have little social skills and it is hard for those with severe ruptured social skills to have a job. For both applying and actually doing it. I don't know how I can ever work! I will probably work in a candy factory for life :3 

Edited by Bleep
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Wow. So many responses.

I am sorry for all your struggles and understand completely.
I too seem to fail steady employment. I currently have a job I like very much but am barely holding onto it.
I feel like such a loser.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...
On 4/29/2019 at 5:33 AM, Missyx said:

Curious if anyone really struggles to keep their job with mental illness?

I do!

 

It depends on how much you can control the symptoms. Not everyone can control them to the same degree. It also depends on how well medication works with the issues. Just remain focused, and look to not letting the mental illness drag you down. My sister has struggled with mental health and she works as a hairdresser, and has been to college many times. She passed everything and life is good for her. 

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On 4/29/2019 at 2:33 PM, Missyx said:

Curious if anyone really struggles to keep their job with mental illness?

I do!

 

Every single day of my life. I even struggle when I don't have a job. Funnily enough, I could charm and talk my way into any job, but then after a few months I find it boring or stressful and my mental illness kicks in. I can't stay on an even keel for years like "normal"  people can, so either I end up doing everything fast and wonderful or can't do a thing. It is a huge struggle and I try and take it one day at a time, one step at a time to get through the moment.

Please know that you are not a loser.Missyx. What are you struggling with at the job at the moment? Are you in a depressive state and find it hard to function or are you stressed? Maybe if you can give us some more information we can help..

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  • 1 year later...
On 4/29/2019 at 12:33 AM, Missyx said:

Curious if anyone really struggles to keep their job with mental illness?

I do!

 

@missyyx, 

In the 11-12 years I've been reading and writing on this forum, my experience has been that this is the number 1 struggle that people with bipolar disorder have - finding and keeping a job.  This has certainly been the case in my own life.  I've lost job after job.  It wasn't due to lack of intelligence, or work ethic, it wasn't really due to lack of social skills (though sometimes I get tired of putting on a happy face), or knowledge or ability.
 

It is still hard for me to define exactly how my manic depressive illness contributed so heavily to not being able to keep all these jobs, but I do not question that it has.  Here's what I believe I know or what I at least think it is for me:

  1. I go all or nothing.  I don't like smalltalk if I can avoid it, and if I'm going to do something, I want it to be as close to perfect as possible, which is a recipe for inefficient, avoidance and disaster, especially in the modern work world.
  2. I crave novelty more than the average person and get bored easily.  I have trouble staying engaged especially over any long period of time if things don't interest me.  I enjoy abstract thinking, ideas, and crafting things (e.g. writing, projects, speeches, etc.) that are aesthetically pleasing rather than just functional to get the job done.
  3. I take risks that aren't ultimately prudent or worth while (like writing this note on my work computer right now).
  4. I have a tortured relationship to money and therefore don't really find it motivating.
  5. With the depressive cycle, I often rapidly and persistently come to view work as absolutely meaningless, that we're just "slaves to money then we die," to quote the Bittersweet Symphony.  
  6. Conversely, in periods of hypomania, while I may have a blizzard of activity and even accomplish a lot, I can get carried away, overdo it, color outside the lines of what's expected and behavior that is considered appropriate enough for the modern (especially micro-managed) work environments, etc.

 

I'm sure there's more, but these are the ones I seem most aware of at this point.

Well, I'd better get back to work on some things that unfortunately are really boring in a lot of ways.
 

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On 6/16/2020 at 1:39 AM, Renster said:

Funnily enough, I could charm and talk my way into any job, but then after a few months I find it boring or stressful and my mental illness kicks in. I can't stay on an even keel for years like "normal"  people can, so either I end up doing everything fast and wonderful or can't do a thing. It is a huge struggle and I try and take it one day at a time, one step at a time to get through the moment.

Yes, this.
This is what I was trying to describe above, but this is well put.  I identify with it a lot.  thx.

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On 4/30/2019 at 7:10 AM, Missyx said:

Wow. So many responses.

I am sorry for all your struggles and understand completely.
I too seem to fail steady employment. I currently have a job I like very much but am barely holding onto it.
I feel like such a loser.

You're not a loser.  You have a real illness.  The good news is there is a lot you can do, and that others can do to help you.  It's hard to generalize or reduce to a list.  Personally I think a good therapist is essential.  Mostly, good self care, including sleeping, eating, exercise, and a good support network in and outside of work (I recommend not disclosing the illness to people at work though).  Medication if it helps. 

I have long thought that a critical resource we need in the U.S. and the world is an in-house professional who combines confidential psychotherapy and executive or job performance coaching.  This would take out the problem of a therapist being unable to advise and help you with your particular job stresses, while a coach cannot do psychotherapy which is equally important.  Some very large companies have such a person, but it is rare still.

The modern work world is stressful and difficult for almost everyone, not just we the depressed.  But with depression, you have to take a proactive approach to being kind of your own amature advocate, and learner, and reach out and grab onto whatever other help you can.  Otherwise, it won't get better.

This site can be a good resource actually.

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On 4/29/2019 at 3:16 PM, JD4010 said:

 And then there are all the meetings I have to attend and act like I'm engaged.

God, how we all know this feeling.   If the dull, pointless, or at least boring meetings themselves didn't wear us out, the pretending to be interested would.

I guess I'm fortunate right now to be in a role and with a group of people where I am genuinely interested in providing the best professional service we can, so that even when things get tedious (often), I at least am intrinsically motivated to do my best at them.  This hasn't always been the case.

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On 4/29/2019 at 11:17 AM, 9E4 said:

I do as well. My depression makes getting a job very difficult. I have to convince people that they should hire me when I can barely convince myself that life is worth living! Because of my lack of motivation, I have tended to end up with very low-level jobs in poor working environments, which when coupled with my fragile mental health lead me to quit. I am currently unemployed and am pushing myself to find a better job. Fortunately, I have been receiving a lot of support from those close to me.

I have been in these exact situations so many times.  It is painful and scary.  One thing I would share is that against all odds, the thing that a lot of people told me -- essentially that it can get better - that things will change, is true.  And we have a lot of agency to do things to increase the odds that they do get better.  I know that sounds simplistic.  It is not easy.  It is worth it.  You can find something that works better for you, and feel good about yourself and your job again.   It is possible and doable, even if it likely will take significant time and work.

You have to hold and and keep getting back up the best you can in the mean time.

Sending positive thoughts  your way.

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