What is it really like to work when you have active bipolar disorder, psychosis and anxiety?


I just sent out a newsletter. Here is what I experienced the entire time I was working:

1. Shortness of breath.
2. Felt like my heart was in my throat- literally- like a lump.
3. Dizziness
4. Worry
5. Guilt
6. Dread
7. Anger that I have to go through this CRAP
8. Lack of faith in what I was writing.
9. A great desire to simply quit what I was doing.
10. Zero belief I would reach my goal.

I have lived with this my entire life. It is my brain. I have a lot of mental health symptoms that simply show up when I work.

The secret is learning to work THROUGH them.

I sent that darn newsletter and it is beautiful. Who cares that I felt like I was dying while working on the project. I will keep going.


6 comments to What is it really like to work when you have active bipolar disorder, psychosis and anxiety?

  • Michael

    You know what its like to work for a company with these symptoms and cycling too much. Damn near impossible without getting let go. I should know. !6 years ago was my last job and it was as an executive for national firm. I went from a 1 percenter down to a 0 percenter. I live in the shadows.

  • Gloria G

    Beautifully said Julie. I have listened many times to my partner talk about this subject. I know he is drained by the time he gets home and has very little energy left for anything else. He seems to always push through but sometimes it is difficult to follow along. I am very proud of him and how he handles his working environment. It must be quite difficult. Thank you for sharing your point of view as it is always extremely helpful to me being the partner of someone who is bipolar.

  • I really get the sense you care very much and are a strong advocate fo those suffering.

  • I have difficulties with socializing at work and relationships due to being self conscious and anxiety ridden after loosing 6 good jobs in 3 years. Let go in all cases due to “performance ” issues. Each time affected me more than the last. I also have anxiety and can’t retain new information therefore learn quickly enough as expected in today’s workplace.. If given enough time I can master my duties. Unfortunately, I always get let go before a year is up

    I attended nursing school and graduated with a 3.7. I could overcomensate most o the time. I work twice as hard to be average or average+. Control what I can, present well, excellent attendance, etc. I don’t look mentally ill and do my best to hide it due to stigma.

    As far as getting an attorney, employment is an at state. I certainly don’t tell potential employers that I have bipolar or I won’t get hired. You have to tell them to receive “accommodations”. At the end of the day you still have to do your job. What are you going to sue them for, they’ll just come up with legit performance issues. There are very few pitifully protections in place.

    Needed mine to survive so applied for SSDI benefits but got denied regardless of 20 years of treatment evidence.

    Really; thing could not be more challenging than working with mental illness

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