×
INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

How to deal with a sensitive medical issue at work
2

How to deal with a sensitive medical issue at work

How to deal with a sensitive medical issue at work

(OP)
I am starting to notice my mental facilities declining and it's becoming more and more difficult to maintain focus on day to day tasks. (I suffer from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, mostly on the depressed end. When I finally do come out of my depression, I am benefited by my creativity and increased drive but quickly crash and burn off.

I work for a large company and have started to quickly climb the ladder but this will put an eventual end to that. It's a fairly large company and I have so called senior and influential friends for being a rather young engineer. It's enough to their interest that I've started to have delusions that a private security team from the same company (as my "Guardian Angel") are with me at the hospital when I have severe psychosis. I put on a charade in the office (at least that I believe) but outside of work I am suffering so much. I have had more frequent spouts of depression that is now affecting my work, yet my "best" work is getting even better.

My medication is working, for the most part, but I'm starting to get more concerned because of the deterioration. Concentrating on basic tasks is like walking through molasses. I have a follow up eventually to get re-assesseed.

I have already taken time off to deal with this multiple times and the frequency is increasing. I have an ethical, personal, family, and company dilemma. Sucks but after writing this out I know what I need to do.

Guess I'll consider going on disability and trying to volunteer or something as long as I can.

I am asking here because I want to have some feedback from those who may have seen or dealt with this one their personal lives or at work.

How would you deal with this, also if your employee really, really wanted to work for you.

RE: How to deal with a sensitive medical issue at work

I'm praying for you right now my friend.

RE: How to deal with a sensitive medical issue at work

Ohwell - to your question about what I would do as an employer, it would depend a lot on my resources. I'm a small business with very limited resources right now, so there's not a lot I'd be able to do, but regardless here's what I would do: support my employee to the fullest extent possible. You've identified a problem and you want to solve it. Though this may not be a problem that can be "solved" in the engineering sense, it is one that can likely be managed through proper medical care and some appropriate accommodations in the office. As a small company, I'd probably be limited to doing my best to help you find the best care. If I ran a large company - additional PTO to get more frequent care and assessments, modifying work schedules if needed, providing more flexibility to help you find a place or the conditions necessary to function at your best.

I know little of the specifics of mental health issues. I've been fortunate enough to not be touched by them directly. But I do know that they are a serious issue for those who have them and for those directly impacted by them. I hope you are able to find the care and the support you need. We're rooting for you, anonymous internet people though we may be.

RE: How to deal with a sensitive medical issue at work

Quote (Ohwell)

My medication is working, for the most part, but I'm starting to get more concerned because of the deterioration.

Have you discussed this with your Psychiatrist? You should have a Psychiatrist, and a good one, and one that you like and trust. If not, find one, ASAP. You should have regular counselling sessions to discuss these things, especially when your meds are not optimal. Meds is a fine balancing act. Too much and your creativity may suffer, not enough and bad things can happen.

I have experience with this via a family member. Consistently taking meds, and counselling with a good Psychiatrist is critical. Support from family, friends, co-workers is critical. Of course, self-control is the most critical factor of all, and it sounds like you have that covered!

Good Luck,
Latexman

RE: How to deal with a sensitive medical issue at work

Have you discussed with Human Resources? A "large" company may have programs to help those with similar needs for extra medical leave.

We will also include you in our prayers.

RE: How to deal with a sensitive medical issue at work

I have some experience with these issues. I would encourage you to do everything you can to hang in there with your professional career. I guess you'd need to draw the line if you're causing dangerous situations.

I have a colleague who has struggled with similar issues for decades. He has been successful and is nearing retirement with one of the most impressive careers of anybody I know.

On the other end of the spectrum, the folks I've known who stepped back from their careers have stepped WAY back.

Best wishes.
100000e

RE: How to deal with a sensitive medical issue at work

Per your handle name, I guess you have given up (joking) lol
I agree with talk to your HR. They may let you go out on disability so you can come back to your current position.

Chris, CSWP
SolidWorks
ctophers home

RE: How to deal with a sensitive medical issue at work

Quote:

after writing this out I know what I need to do.

Defining the problem well often points you to the solution.
You seem to be aware that this will progress to a point that it won't be possible to conceal or cope with. The obvious extrapolation is that if you continue to hide it, then the risk of a disastrous error grows. Then it would be much more difficult to get support form your employer. So even the hard-nosed pragmatic answer is: face it now with your employer. You have a diagnosis now, but haven't yet had a severe breakdown and still have their trust. This is probably the best time (an awful way to use the word "best") to approach your manager and people in HR to let them know what's going on.

I wish you all the best. There are ways to treat this and make a good living without depression casting a shadow over everything. And ways are getting better all the time.

RE: How to deal with a sensitive medical issue at work

You might want to contact a labour lawyer and discuss this with him before you take any action. pipe

So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: How to deal with a sensitive medical issue at work

I agree with what 271828 has said.

RE: How to deal with a sensitive medical issue at work

I see no ethical issues here. Your responsibility is to perform at work, and it is the company's responsibility to determine whether your performance is adequate. I have seen plenty of people over and under perform in their positions. This could be due to alcoholism, laziness, narcolepsy, or an endless list of other things. Time spent on a task is not indicative of overall performance.

The advice provided is correct, you should seek a Psychiatrist. Not a psychologist. You may need inpatient treatment, and this is not something you should be ashamed about. If this is recommended then, I would reach out to HR to discuss temporarily being out of work. They will likely be supportive of you but may not pay you, depending on leave policies and the like.

In either case, I would prioritize your mental health, but try to hang it out in work. If your medical condition is endangering yourself or others though, you may need to think a bit more.

RE: How to deal with a sensitive medical issue at work

2
(OP)
I went to the doctor for another go. Got admitted under the advice of my doctor (voluntarily) and came out another person. I am on a brand new set of medication and I feel reborn.
My thoughts have clarity like never before.


Talk about the importance of mind set... and compassion I leave that as a takeaway. Never give up.

Here we go :)
Thank you everyone

RE: How to deal with a sensitive medical issue at work

Glad to hear... great news. I've attached my signature line from my eMail (including business) which expresses my general wishes to everyone.

-----*****-----

So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: How to deal with a sensitive medical issue at work

In my experience with sensitive medical issues in the workplace:
1. Hindsight wishes that I was open and transparent about it right off the hop. Less stress on me to keep something hidden, even if it was very real. Take time if you need. Just communicate it so your team knows and understands.
2. Lived experience has showed me that as compassionate as modern HR EDI requirements are, a business is still a business especially a male-dominated one. If they can trim a couple dollars off you because your butt-in-the-chair time at work, they will.
3. Despite #2, I think it's important to realize that money ain't nuthin' but a number. Be happy and maintain your health.

My condition is very much physical, although there are mental components to it. It's also very much "hidden" (just like a mental health condition) which makes it harder to explain to many colleagues. The reality is that most people are touched by these hidden conditions, whether through family, friends, or even themselves. That is where you make the connection, get people to allow themselves to be vulnerable, and truly build teamwork necessary for a healthy work environment.

Good luck.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login



News


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close