Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Mental Health Closet

The name I use here is a variation of my real name; I am so deep in the mental health closet I can't reach the knob.

At a previous job I told a co-worker, privately, that I had been diagnosed as bipolar, that I took medication, that I had been stable for eight years. Big mistake; she reported the information directly to her supervisor, and any credibility I had went directly out the window. I won't make that mistake again.

When I write about people I know, I will disguise them as much as I need to protect privacy - theirs or mine. I won't make things up, but I won't endanger anyone's livelihood, including mine.

Bipolar disorder still scares people to death - in part, I think, because of the stories of manics refusing to take their meds. You couldn't pay me to stop taking my meds, but there's no way to make people understand that. I need my job; it's my only access to health insurance.

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