Posted by: BI | 2009-05-26

SERIOUS work problems

Hi there.
I'  ve had a lapse in my meds for about 2 weeks (I had a problem renewing my prescription), I'  ve recently been able to get a 6-month repeat prescription of 150mg Lamictin and and 12.5mg seroquel. I'  ve been taking it again for about a week now.
However, I'  m going mad. I'  m extremely weak, almost paralysed with sadness. I got divorced last year and now my 10 year old son is staying with his father in another province but we maintain contact and also my exhusband and I parted on good terms. So I cannot see how the divorce could now suddenly be affecting me. I'  m being paid a monthly settlement and there is not problem with that.
I cannot work. I was off yesterday again, I'  m off work quite often and when I'  m not I come in at least an hour late.
I cannot do this. I am usualy a dynamic person who takes responsibility for myself and treat my bipolar as just a disorder which can be handled and I can live a relativiely normal life.
But I cannot get an appointment with a psychiatrist until 22 JUNE!!!
I'  m dying here. Can I be fired for this? How do I explain that I do enjoy my job but cannot be here on time even?!?!
I'  m at a loss. I need help urgently and I want to keep my job, my financial independance....
Help please! I'  m so weak and tired, what can I take to give me motivation... I don'  t want to even attempt suicide but I'  m thinking about it more and more. if I cannot work, I cannot live - what the heck am I doing here!!!!

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Presumably you should consult the psychiatrist who is prescribing your meds, for an assessment and advice on balancing them optimally. I am bothered by how many psychiatrists seem to take on too many patients, and who are then providing sub-standard care by being unavailable for so long for an urgent appointment. Make sure he gets the message that you desparing and thinking of suicide.
Part of your question is really legal and procedural, but I don't think anyone can be sacked for being sick, so long as they follow the proper procedures, and dont misrepresent the situation. Motivation can be gained, but not from a drug. Talk with the Anxiety-Depression Support group who should be able to help

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Purple | 2009-05-26

Someone with a medical condition can have their employment terminated if it is not possible for the company to accommodate that condition. However, this affects people at smaller companies more than at bigger companies with more resources (and different departmetns and huge ranges of jobs) at their disposal.
Also, they can' t just call you in and say - you aren' t able to cope on the job so you' re fired.
They need to sit with you and go through how the problems are affecting the business, and before doing anything else - check that your health problems are being managed properly - as most conditions that affect people' s ability to do their job don' t do so anymore if they are being managed properly.
They won' t be able to boot you out between now and 22 June, and after that, if you can show that you have made every effort to get the help you need, then if they did dismiss you, you would be able to fight it quite well.
In all of this, you don' t have to disclose what your health problems are - however, if you do, it makes things easier for you and for the HR person who walks a tight rope trying to balance the needs (and emotions) of the company with the rights (and emotions) of the employee. If you feel that there will be prejudice because it is bipolar disorder and not something like a leg amputation, then don' t disclose it. However, generally people are aware on some level of what the problem is and it' s less tiring for everyone concerned if they aren' t having to walk on egg shells around naming the problem.

You will either hae to have a confidential talk to your manager and explain that you have hit a rough patch but that things are usually under control and the earliest appointment you can get is for 22 June and can they bear with you during that time (latecoming etc). Or, you can try to take an extended period of sick leave over this time, but then it will leave you short in the rest of your 3 year cycle, depending on which point you are int he cycle at the moment and whether you get sick again in the remaining part of the cycle. Your HR practitioner / manager should be able to advise you and even sit in with you on the meeting with your manager if you need it.

The other option is to try to find another psychiatrist who can see you earlier, though I would imagine that is quite difficult.

Note to CS:
Thanks for the (always) fantastic advice yesterday. Had talk to teacher this morning and have to do more puzzles at home. She thinks main problem is lack of practice (whoops - my fault), frustration and high levels of anxiety (he told her about sore tummy at school yesterday and she started asking questions about how he was feeling about things). No tummy ache this morning though and he couldn' t wait to dress for school.

Reply to Purple

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.