Is There Bipolar Stigma in the Workplace?
There is legislation in the United States that prevents people from being discriminated against based on an illness - and this includes mental illness. So, then, there should be no discrimination against those with bipolar disorder in the workplace. Right?
Prejudice and Bipolar Stigma in the Workplace
When you say someone has cancer, does that influence what you think that person does for a living? No, of course it doesn't because cancer is just an illness and it could happen to everyone from a stay at home mom to a chief executive officer.
However, when I say that someone has bipolar disorder, does that influence what you think that person is capable of doing?
For many, the answer is "Yes."
Conversation About Bipolar Stigma in the Workplace
In this video blog, I talk about bipolar stigma in the workplace and I suggest that yes, it very much does exist (Bipolar Disorder And Treatment Stigma).
Tracy, N. (2014, May 1). Is There Bipolar Stigma in the Workplace?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 24 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2014/05/bipolar-stigma-workplace
Author: Natasha Tracy
Due to the level of stress I lost my ability to maintain my bipolar balance. For the 1st time in my life I confidentially revealed my bipolar to the Admin. (even my best friends didn't know) I requested accommodation for a grade and room change. This was denied. (I thought, I expected compassion, or thought legally they'd leave me alone). I took a leave of absence.
On return, the harassment/discrimination increased. the parents seemed to fear me, They accused me of many atrocious things.
I was fired from the teaching position at my school of 27 yrs. and involuntarily transferred to a substitute position.
The district was not liable because they kept me employed.
I was unable to substitute...I resigned..my reputation destroyed, the career I LOVED destroyed and my retirement reduced to a third of my normal paycheck because I quit before age 55. Stigma? Who wants a Bipolar teacher?!!
I will say that I prefer articles to videos. Of course, you speak with confidence and are easy on the eyes, but there are people sleeping here. >< Perhaps a transcript in the future?
At any rate, you're absolutely right that discrimination still exists in the workplace. I was basically fired (told to quit or they'd make my work miserable) from my dream job. With the amount of effort I was putting into the job, I highly suspected it was because of my bipolar diagnosis. Later, it was confirmed that I went from headed to promotion to jobless solely because of having a mental illness. Despite having some proof, I didn't have the money or motivation to take the issue to court.
I've certainly experienced the stigma in other workplaces too, but that was the most heartbreaking. Now, I'm making the attempt to work for myself. It may be the only way I can work.