Are You the Only One that Struggles to Hold a Job with Mental Illness?

Curious if anyone really struggles to keep their job with mental illness?

I do!

I struggle to keep my job every day. I have lost so many jobs because of my mental illness, that I kind of expect it. I worked at one job for 3 months before they sat me down and explained that I was being fired.

Mr Supervisor said, “You started out strong and confident (sales job) but then it was like your dog died. You died. (numbers went to zero)”

I walked out of there dragging my tail.

He said it was like my dog died. How do I explain that it is my depression?

How do I explain that my confidence is mania?

I got the job when I was manic so naturally I was confident of my sales skills.

But after one month, the beginning of the crash of depression living on the bottom of the grave. I didn’t only not engage with the customer, I stayed in the backroom as much as I could get away with.

That was why I got fired. I got caught. And my numbers were at zero for the end of the month.

Mania got me the job. Depression lost me the job. Now no job.

I slept in bed for 20 hours at a time for 2 weeks. I binge watched Amazon Prime Video for hours that I was awake. Then I would shuffle off to bed again for a “nap”. I felt like a failure. It was dark outside.

After two months of desperation, I got another job albeit entry level stockroom associate. I hate it. I have anxiety every day and have to do breathing exercises under my mask. (covid19 mask policy)

Oh I am getting tired of hearing myself think. Let’s see if we can interview some other people and then get their take on:

Curious if anyone really struggles to keep their job with mental illness?

  • I do as well. My depression makes getting a job very difficult. I have to convince people that they should hire me when I can barely convince myself that life is worth living!
  • I struggle with working each week. It can be overwhelming and I take lots of breaks and pretend I’m working in the back warehouse
  • Oh yeah, for sure. Every day. I’ve got a managerial position and it’s really tough for me to deal with “my” employees on the one hand and my boss on the other. And then there are all the meetings I have to attend and act like I’m engaged.
  • I struggle everyday!!!! I have to force myself to get up and work and it’s doesn’t make it any better that I work from home
  • Depression and resume gaps make an awful cycle. If you have a resume gap due to depression, it is harder to get a job, while continuing to be unemployed contributes to depression. Hopefully we can somehow break this cycle
  • I’ve lost every job I ever had because of mental illness. I got my first job at 11 mowing grass and I’ve had hundreds of jobs since and lost them all. The work I do now is mostly odd jobs for friends and family and it’s really just a way for them to watch me more than anything.
  • Yes I do very much. But it’s mainly because of the people not the work or doing the work
  • Yes. To me biggest question how anyone with mental illness can. But then again, they do not have mine and each kind is different. I have little social skills and it is hard for those with severe ruptured social skills to have a job. For both applying and actually doing it. I don’t know how I can ever work! I will probably work in a candy factory for life :3
  • Wow. So many responses. I am sorry for all your struggles and understand completely. I too seem to fail steady employment. I currently have a job I like very much but am barely holding onto it. I feel like such a loser.
  • Companies would rather hire drug addicts than someone with mental problems. Thank you dad.
  • It depends on how much you can control the symptoms. Not everyone can control them to the same degree. It also depends on how well medication works with the issues. Just remain focused, and look to not letting the mental illness drag you down. My sister has struggled with mental health and she works as a hairdresser, and has been to college many times. She passed everything and life is good for her.
  • Funnily enough, I could charm and talk my way into any job, but then after a few months I find it boring or stressful and my mental illness kicks in. I can’t stay on an even keel for years like “normal” people can, so either I end up doing everything fast and wonderful or can’t do a thing. It is a huge struggle and I try and take it one day at a time, one step at a time to get through the moment.
  • In the 11-12 years I’ve been reading and writing on this forum, my experience has been that this is the number 1 struggle that people with bipolar disorder have – finding and keeping a job.  This has certainly been the case in my own life.  I’ve lost job after job.  It wasn’t due to lack of intelligence, or work ethic, it wasn’t really due to lack of social skills (though sometimes I get tired of putting on a happy face), or knowledge or ability.

I got quite a big response to my interview and I just listed the top 12 people’s responses.

You’re not a loser. You have a real illness. The good news is there is a lot you can do, and that others can do to help you. It’s hard to generalize or reduce to a list. Personally I think a good therapist is essential. Mostly, good self care, including sleeping, eating, exercise, and a good support network in and outside of work (I recommend not disclosing the illness to people at work though). Medication if it helps.

“I still struggle every day. I worry when I’m there that a manager is going to call me into the office and explain why I am being fired.” By BbqDad

You are not alone if you struggle with holding a job down with mental illness.

One take away as an aside.

I use cannabis to boost my mood and creativity when depressed. It also helps me sleep at night.

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Published by BbqDad

pilot poet dad "I can open a pickle jar with my bare hands!"

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