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Readers Respond: How Do Your Symptoms Affect Your Work Life?

Responses: 8

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Updated January 09, 2010

Some people with BPD are very successful in their work, while others are chronically unemployed or unhappy in their careers. How have your BPD symptoms affected you at work? Have you engaged in a lot of "job-hopping" or gotten fired because of interpersonal conflicts? Or is work the area of your life in which you function most successfully?

Exhausting Sick Leave

I am currently working full time providing support to others, I have always had a job and always thrived in work. However now my mental health is taking me over and I’m finding it impossible to go to work. I find it hard to wash myself, sleep and eat let alone go to work and help others. It seems I can only cope if I’m asked to do very little and am constantly being reassured. If I’m around too many people it’s overwhelming and being alone can cause an episode. I so want to work. I’ve always been praised for my work, I’m a really ambitious person and used to love a heavy work load, I would go out of my way to use my initiative and impress. But now the concept of work feels me with fear, dread and anxiety. I’ve tried to change things at work to make things easier, management has been flexible for the most part but what happens now? Management will surely give up on me and they should, I can’t do my job, I can’t function normally. I’m so scared of what will happen next...
—Guest Em

Unable to Work

Because of my intense fear of rejection and lack of belief in my ability and because of never knowing when BPD us gonna hit hard I avoid regular work like the plague because it never works out, makes me feel more guilt and shame. I do some beauty work, but have to be fairly sure I can manage it, most if the time it's ok, but I still cry off 20% of the time. Today being one of them. When I take a job on, whether it's an hour or four hour job, I usually end up drained and it can take days for me to want to face the world again .
—Guest DublinSufferer

BPD in the workplace

I wasn't diagnosed until a few years ago. In every job, I've had trouble getting along with my co-workers and felt they were out to get me. I was emotional, angry, and defensive. I have a college degree, but my lack of self-confidence led me to low-paying clerical jobs, which I hated. It hurt so much to see my co-workers in power meetings, sharing ideas and brainstorming, while my only function was to keep the coffee and doughnuts coming. I took everything so personally. If a group went to lunch and didn't ask me along, I'd cry in the restroom. If someone was rude, I was rude right back. I think back to jobs I had years ago, and realize that if those people remember me at all, it will be for the way I acted. I wish I could take it all back. I know now that there will always be rude people around; I can't control what they say but I can control what I say. I've always wanted to be a writer. Maybe I still can.
—Guest Rhonda

BPD Work

Yeah, I don't know about that. I am able to hold down a steady job that I adore, and actually function best while at work. My job requires plenty of boundaries, which is something I typically struggle with in day-to-day life, but the fact that they are laid out and specifically stated makes it so much easier to manage them. I think it really does depend on your specific strengths & difficulties, but the fact that you've made it that far in college, I think it's promising. Good luck! :)
—Guest anon

Work is Exacerbating my BPD

I have been working steadily now for a while, however at my current workplace I have come upon a lot of problems. My supervisors regularly exacerbate my symptoms, even though they know I have a disability and have agreed to accommodate it. I think at this point one of my bosses might be discriminating against me, but it is so hard to prove and I am often sad at work. It is a government job, so it's not the kind of job you just throw away; there are benefits, a pension, etc. In more supportive work environments, even other places within the government, I have performed quite well.
—Guest Katie

Difficulty with authority figures

I have always had trouble accepting rules and workplace regulations enacted by people in authority who are fools. I have also always been hyper sensitive to criticism from those fools. I also am hyper sensitive to workplace "cliques" that don't include me.
—Guest PuggieSue

how do symptoms affect your work life

I am 43 and am still not working, I have been in thousands of jobs, only to leave them when it gets too hard, e.g., when the boss wants to come down on me for no reason, or a colleague has a problem with me. I fear work to no end and am still finding excuses not to work. I am on a disability support pension and intend to stay that way until I can.
—Guest leeanneuren

Can't work

I've been able to not work for almost seven years now, thanks to my husband and a lot of budgeting. Now that he is approaching retirement age, I think I should go back to work and help out. The trouble is I don't have the skills anymore, all my references are gone, and it's just too hard to fill out application after application only to hear nothing back. I can't deal with rejection. I just want a job for minimum wage, I don't have to talk to the public, and that doesn't have deadlines and pressure to perform all the time...
—Guest Debi

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