So today, in a meeting with the editor of the Scottish newspaper for which I work, a meeting I instigated because I have been off for a couple of months with the old can't-get-out-of-bed-today-wish-I-was-dead ruse and wanted to sort out a phased return to work. But I was told I was being demoted because "you've been making mistakes" and "we need someone who can do your job now, not in a few weeks".
This company just moved into new offices and on every desk when it opened was a postcard saying "You CAN talk about your mental health". Well obviously not if said mental health is a bit shit, the editor clearly has no idea about bipolar, it's prognosis and what it's like to live with.
His henchman (I had no representation at the meeting, I had not been told it was a disciplinary hearing and that I was entitled to) asked me if I do anything to treat my condition, suggesting I see a GP.
I was diagnosed 12 years ago and since then have been under the care of six consultant psychiatrists. I see my current specialist at Cornhill Hospital in Aberdeen every two or three weeks and can see him quicker if there's a serious problem, as there was this time; in one day of unbearable agitation, anxiety and hopelessness I saw the same GP three times (she told me to come back if the benzodiazepines she prescribed didn't help). She was awesome and referred to the on-call crisis team at Cornhill, whom I saw within two hours.
As well as seeing my consultant I have a private therapist, and I am on a long waiting list for a clinical psychologist. I see my GP regularly to monitor my physical health. I take medication on time and live with its side effects; anti-psychotic quetiapine, mood stabiliser lamotrigine, SNRI duloxetine, tetracyclic anti-depressant mirtazipine, zolpidem for sleep, diazepam for anxiety, lanzoprazole and ranitidine to counteract the tendency quetiapine has to try to suffocate me on my own bile during the night, and finally Cialis because, although I'm a bit young for impotence, that is what duloxetine does. It also causes abnormal orgasms but enough about them.
So am I taking steps to treat my bipolar or am I just living happily in hell? The two managers in the interview clearly have no grasp of the life-sapping severity of bipolar disorder. 22% of us will find life with it so unbearable we end it.
I fully intend to do this once my father dies, I have no quality of life and I've tried acupuncture, meditation and cognitive behavioural nonsense. It's all shite.
I have been wronged today by two men who casually tossed aside the career I've been working on like a swan; serene on the surface but paddling like bollocks under water.
I will now seek legal advice. In the UK the 2010 Equality Act prevents prejudice against employees on many grounds including disability (which includes bipolar).
Can you tell I'm a bit pissed off? Might take my story to a rival paper, hehe!