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Experiences of bipolar disorder: ‘Every day it feels like I must wear a mask’

Apr 2nd, 2017 by

Readers explain the intense mood swings brought on by bipolar disorder that can lead to self harm, loss of control and the need for medication, as part of the MQ series Speak your Mind

I am once again in the mental health treatment sausage machine. Plucking up courage to approach a GP to admit defeat, being shoved on drugs to stop me topping myself, told that there’s a huge, long waiting list for treatment, the false hope of a “gateway worker” assessment followed by another interminable wait of undefined length. Then I know I will have my allocated batch of treatment before being deemed “fixed” and dispatched back to the world again. I am sick and tired of the roundabout. I suggested that instead of this system, once a mental health patient has had their allocation of therapy, they should remain on the books, so when they feel themselves slipping back down, they can call up for a booster session instead of having to go through the whole rigmarole again.

I’ve just quit my job of six years because, following a disclosure to my new boss that I have bipolar tendencies she proceeded to bully me into submission. She had absolutely no understanding of how to get the best out of (a very talented) employee who has mental health issues. I was stopped from working at home, an important aspect to being able to manage my condition. I had unreasonable targets imposed, with no support offered to go about achieving them. My job was chopped and changed, hours cut and autonomy removed. I have been pushed back to the brink of suicide and had to go on antidepressants to simply survive.

Related: Experiences of depression: ‘It leaves you on the cliff edge of sanity’

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