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Old 06-27-2012, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Kansas City Metro
203 posts, read 444,406 times
Reputation: 662

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Hi..I am bipolar and have been since I was a kid. I am now 46, female. I take my meds religiously but still have manic/depressive episodes that no med can manage.

When I feel a manic state coming on I pop a Xanax and put my earbuds on at work so I can relax..

I've been at the same job for 7 years. The lady in the cube next to me and I have become (what I thought) somewhat good friends, mostly because I had to in order to tolerate working right next to her 9 hours a day, 5 days a week.

She has an adult son who is bipolar and she complains often about him. She comes to me with questions as he is newly diagnosed. She is old school..and has a loud mouth..she's brash, not a lot of empathy for other people, doesn't understand nor does she really care to understand about mental illness..

Our supervisor also has her office in our quad of cubes. This morning my "friend" was going on and on about her loser son. Loudly. At one point she announced to the entire office that she hated manic depressives, didn't understand them, they need to get over themselves or just die. I felt like I had been slapped in the face, literally. I felt the heat creeping up and my neck got hot. See, this is a small office and most of my friends here know about me..I saw shock on some of their faces..

I walked away from my desk to gather my composure.

My question regards the following: I complained to my supervisor how offended I was over that comment and how I felt. At first she was understanding and said she would talk to friend. About two hours later I received an email from her stating that she has thought about it and did not feel it was a work related issue and that I needed to take it up with friend/coworker.

I fired back, ok what if she had said I hate all really fat people, I don't understand how they got that way and I hope they all just die. Supervisor said well, that is different.

Am I over-reacting? Or is this woman and supervisor creating a hostile work environment? I need advice because I'm thinking of taking it up the chain. If I'm wrong, I need to know I'm wrong. Sometimes I do have trouble seeing reality and need to step back. This post is my way of stepping back. Hope to receive some advice.
thanks.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
33,068 posts, read 61,890,891 times
Reputation: 55485
Hell, no, you're not overreacting. I probably would have decked someone (not a helpful response, I know!). The behavior of both your co-worker and you supervisor is nothing short of abominable.

First off, refuse to talk to the woman in question about bipolar disorder. Period. You have a lot of insight you could share with her, but apparently she's not smart enough or doesn't care enough about her own son to realize this. If she presses, tell her you'll be happy to talk to her about anything work-related, but you're leaving personal issues at the office door from now on. Walk away if you have to.

As for your supervisor ... The instance of one co-worker marginalizing (at best) another co-workers health status is very much a work-related issue. Not only were you offended by her words, but your other co-workers were as well; that's just plain disruptive.

I'd try to take one more attempt at explaining to your supervisor why you objected to the woman's behavior, how it make you feel, and why the stigma of mental illness is so very harmful in the workplace (and everywhere else). Unless you work in a clinical setting, there's no way a rant or even a rational discussion of mental illness is appropriate in the office.

I wish you luck and the best of health.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Kansas City Metro
203 posts, read 444,406 times
Reputation: 662
Thanks. I have never felt so..dismissed. Like I'm nothing.

Believe me, there will be zero future discussions regarding mental health, or anything else for that matter. My invisible door is shut and shields are up.

I'm afraid to take it up the chain though..these are tough times and I can't lose my job. *sigh*.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Florida
746 posts, read 1,439,320 times
Reputation: 1179
Yes, I think you are overreacting. The woman was obviously very ticked off about her son, and her attack was about him, but generalized to include everyone with this problem.

You did well to contain yourself. Remember, you have no obligation to feel offended about anything. The way this works is that a person hears certain words and then makes an interpretation based on his/her particular experience, and then says to him/herself, "I didn't like that, I'm going to create bad feelings about it."

As to bipolar, I worked at a place where a bipolar man frequently visited to do some of his work. THis guy was intolerable and everyone tip-toed around him. I think he was taking advantage of his situation to be the biggest grouch in the world.
I also know a lady, who is one of the nicest people I know. Just goes to show they aren't all grouches.

Anyway.......
Look at this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKzgJ8Hcn6Q

On the page, you will also find other videos on this subject.
This page has links to explanations of how and why this works.
http://www.youtube.com/user/HealingMagic
Be sure to watch the one titled "Making friends with the saboteur within."

If you are not the least bit familiar with mental/brain/thought conditiong I may seem really weird to you, but take it to heart, watch the videos and give it a try.
There is also one on Affirmations. I have some chemical sensitivities, and frequently find myself defending them. I did realize that in so doing, I was acutally affirming and making them stronger. Here's on video on that subject:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nu1-6Wj5Ys&feature=plcp
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:21 PM
 
15,246 posts, read 17,407,305 times
Reputation: 25475
I hate the term "overreacting" because the reaction that you have to something is the reaction that you have.

But if I were you, I'd take at least a couple of days before I decided what, if anything, I would do. If you decide to talk to your employer, what do you want them to do? You need to know that before you take action. If they reprimand your insensitive coworker, is it likely to make things better or worse?

Weigh your options before taking action, because once you take them, you won't be able to "untake" them.

I think I would try to talk to the coworker when I wasn't upset and when neither of us were very busy.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Kansas City Metro
203 posts, read 444,406 times
Reputation: 662
I'm just going to let it go. No need to make a mountain out of a molehill then. Thanks all for the advice. I will have to watch the videos later when I go home.
Have a great afternoon.
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,545 posts, read 18,210,262 times
Reputation: 16829
If it wasn't your job, I wouldn't let it go, but there is too much to lose. I'd keep her at the end of a tether, though. And if any further talk happens I WOULD mention it. This is absolutely wrong. Your doing your work acceptably. If you hadn't you wouldn't have been there for that long. She has NO right to go on about it like that.

I'm type 2, and away from stress and meds which make it worse still work within my own parameters. I can't take stress, thought. I moved and nobody here knows. Maybe they think I'm wierd but people can be looked at as that. I more or less self dxed myself in high school many years before, but didn't want the label. When push came to shove I had to but the reaction of the person who posted about the guy who came and did work is typical. Maybe this guy is just like that, and maybe its just him. But since they know he's bp, that has to be why. Maybe he'd just like to do his work and finish and leave and isn't interested in socializing. But they have the LABEL so they use it.

I feel very very sorry for this woman's son who will have to bear the brunt of her anger at him for not being perfect. I only hope he has someone on his side who will confront her with her attitude.

Yes, we're DIFFERENT, but hardly what they like to think of us. We have qualities others don't have too, and instead of seeing it as terrible, we should see ourselves as just walking a different road.
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Kansas City Metro
203 posts, read 444,406 times
Reputation: 662
Thank you Nightbyrd, awesome post..you GET it.
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:23 PM
 
13,049 posts, read 16,087,687 times
Reputation: 15244
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adoptstrays View Post
I'm just going to let it go. No need to make a mountain out of a molehill then. Thanks all for the advice. I will have to watch the videos later when I go home.
Have a great afternoon.
Good for you Adoptstrays...you otta let HER go as well....I'd have nothing more to do with her...she's a fool, and prefers to remain that way
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Lower east side of Toronto
10,570 posts, read 11,130,511 times
Reputation: 9331
If you are young and not chemically dismal in the head- and not really mentally ill with this bi-polar thing...and I believe the old name was manic depression..for this so-called disorder- and you go on medication- if you are not mentally sick the chemicals may induce sickness.

I had a nephew who's father - my older brother was a chemist..He believed in modern science..His son took all sort of strange designer drugs..some not even on the list of controlled substances....His father swore the kid was mentally ill because the grand mother on the wife's side of the family was quite batty...so much so that she over the years drove her husband who was a 75 year old dairy farmer...The old farmer would hide from his wife- worked 20 hours a day to avoid her...Finally he went on medication...a few months later he was found in the garage hanging from a rafter.

The wife of the farmer continued on with her medication- a bottle of brandy a day..and she was into her eighties when she passed....Getting back to my nephew.


I do not believe he was bi-polar...We would sit and talk on the porch when I visited..He was very bright and kind of wild..but not mentally ill in my opinion...Then after our long chat he would go in the house and take his "pill". The conversation then took on a new tone- as if he was slow minded and stupid....This young man finally cut his wrists with a lot of drama..wandered off into the woods after filling the house with blood...attempted to make his way back- but laid down and froze to death...

I don't have a lot of faith in chemicals that are supposed to control odd behavior. NOW -suddenly my older brothers surviving son has been labeled bi-polar..and they have him drugged up...He is a university student and a very creative producer of great music...Bi-polar was manic depression at one time...and the old definition of dynamic mood swings was called - being an ARTIST. Most of the great artists through history had this so-called dis-order..but there is no place in a compliant society for these types- so we tell them they are nuts and drug them..



Good luck on your situation regarding your mental health...all I have seen were two suicides - and both of them were people on medication.


It makes you wonder about some profit making compounds that warn-"may cause ideas of suicide" -what the hell is that about? Take this pill and it will heal you but it might- make you murder yourself?
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