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Healing Rhythms

Bipolar Coworker

I need help/advise/suggestions!
I recently was hired by a small telecommunications vendor company... I love my job and I'm good at it. My problem -- the coworker that helped me land this job is also my biggest problem!

We met over 20 years ago while I was working on my Masters and then recently while I was working with my last company. We ran into each other while I was networking with the owner of her company & because her business was closely associated with my field, we began working together for business opportunities.

I am a very strong, confident woman. I have worked hard to get to where I am both professionally and personally. I do not doubt myself.

My friend/coworker is very insecure, controlling, and does not like to make mistakes. She very much enjoys directing/leading teams; however, what I'm discovering is she does not know her product which makes her directions unclear, incorrect and creates a lot of work for others.

My first experience with her bipolar personality showed up the first week I went to work. She decided to take vacation that week. During my work week, she called me at least 5-7 times a day wanting to know "what I was doing or what was so and so doing." If I did not answer my phone when she called, she would have the receptionist locate me. I found this behavior very odd.

Upon her return from vacation, she was very upset that my manager had set up a temporary desk for me to work. She expressed her comments directed at me by saying, "they never did anything like this for me when I began work here." "Don't worry, it won't always be like this, they'll forget you." I need to mention that she made it clear that when she began her employment with this company that she would be working from home; she did not want to report to the office. My manager wants me to work at the office.

From then on, she would take over my desk whenever she was in town. Having not ever encountered something like this before nor did I want to start an issue, I did not do or say say anything to her.

At that time, we got along pretty good; however, she did talk to me a lot about why so and so coworker did not return her calls/emails; why did so and so not do this or that which she had requested; or why did so and so keep her out of the loop on this project. I listened to her concerns and tried to coach her on ways to make the situations better. I also tutored her on products/processes that she did not know about or needed to learn. I did this hoping it would make her feel more secure about herself and her position.

During this time she tried to involve me by going to coworkers on her behalf to discuss these issues. She also tried to persuade me to go to our manager about issues she was either having with him or our coworkers. That's when I drew the line and simply said, "I will not do that...it is inappropriate and I do not feel comfortable doing that. If you have an issue with anyone, you should take care of it yourself." She could not believe that I would not help her in that way and inferred that I was not being a team player.

Another situation occurred, one Friday afternoon while she, I and a coworker were discussing a customer solution. All of a sudden, she starts yelling, "Why do you treat me like this. I am not stupid. You all just ignore me like I'm not here, etc." I got scared and didn't know what to say. My coworker acted like nothing had happened. The only thing I thought to do was to touch her hand and say, "calm down." She threw my hand off and then began throwing paper and her work things on the floor. I then left the room because it upset me so. Later when she discussed it with me, she laughed and said to me, "nothing ever bothers you." I could not believe my ears!

She called me over the weekend to apologize; however, that did not make me feel any better. On the following Monday, I went to my manager and explained the situation stating to him that I was not talking about her; I simply needed some advise. I described the Friday outburst by stating this was the second time she had erupted like this and I wanted to know what to do. Unfortunately, all he did was listen and said he really did not know why she did that nor what I could do. He said that he had noticed how insecure she was, but he was also confused as to why she did not know the product or processes since she had been with his company for over a year. I had only been there at that time less than 1 month.

There have been more incidents like this. I will not bore you guys with the details. But the last one occurred when we were away at training. We had overslept for the last day of training because she did not set the alarm clock. When we both awoke, she wanted to take her shower first; however, she made 3 phone calls, pulled out her outfit, then packed some things all before she got in to the shower. Needless to say I was last and she was waiting on me. She impatiently sat tapping her legs, then my phone rang...it was my manager. I took the phone call -- there were some issues he needed to discuss with me. During my call, she repeatedly make comments making it difficult to hear him.
Afterward she said, "I don't know why he called you. He knew we have to get to class. Now we're really be late. I can't believe it. It's so rude to be late. It puts the instructor in an awkward situation." I responded by saying, "I don't want to make you late. Why don't you go on down. I'll follow in a bit." She repeated these things over and over until I got mad. I responded, "there is nothing stopping you from going to the class. I can take care of myself. I don't mind walking into the class late. This situation is no one's fault and I cannot hurry any faster."

Needless to say she did not like my reply. She said she was waiting on me for us to take our luggage to the car. I stated, "I'll leave mine with the front desk. It's no big deal. You go on ahead & I'll catch up." She said "why do you want to do that?" I said so you don't have to wait on me. With that I took my stuff and headed out the door to the elevator. She got very angry at me because she had to pull the luggage cart by herself. When she got into the elevator she said I was acting like a child and started yelling at me. I said "do not yell at me," twice. Then she said "you can find your own way home." She had driven to the training class. I did not say anything to her after that!

Again after this flare up, she went back to being nice, with a slight cold shoulder. I simply ignored it and acted like nothing had happened. However, during our drive home, I was talking with my husband on the phone, she said, I want to talk with him and took it. She proceeded to tell him about our disagreement, not in details, but to let him know we had an argument! I thought this very odd and inappropriate!

I'm really at a loss here. I have never run across an adult who acts like this in the workplace. I have encountered these people socially, but once I find them out, I try not to associate with them again.

Can anyone help me? I do not know what to do or what to say to this person when she acts like a child bully. She really upsets me by her inappropriate behavior and it appears she has been doing this for a very long time both professionally and personally with her family and friends.

My concern now is her latest tactic -- intimidation and bullying with her words. I am not a passive person. Those who know me know I speak my mind. But in this situation, I do not know what to say simply because she makes me angry with her actions and words and I get emotional. I am trying my best not to react or say anything because I know it will do no good. My goal has been to try and get along with her so that we have a professional work relationship but I do not think this is working.

Any suggestions?
I could really use some help!

Comments for Bipolar Coworker

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Save yourself
by: Anonymous

My advise to you would be to get away from this woman A.S.A.P., even if you have to find other employment. It is not your responsibility to "fix" her. Her behavior is going to escalate. You are going to be injured mentally, physically or both. Life is too short to deal with a toxic person like this.

Sounds like a Serial Bully
by: Solange

I, too, worked with someone like this. I realized after a while that the behavior is very purposeful. In my case, the person was my subordinate. I had known her for 3 years before hiring her and did not have a hint that she would be so difficult. After her probation was up, she started behaving in ways like you are describing -- like a 5 year old. The purpose of bullying is to cause psychological harm in someone who threatens the bully. Because the bully is emotionally immature, the behavior appears justified to that individual. Five-year-olds grab toys, have temper tantrums, shout "no" and fold their arms in front of their chests. Isn't it shocking to see those behaviors in an adult? But it works, doesn't it? She's controlling you. By forcing you to react, she doesn't have to face her own feelings of incompetence... and its YOUR fault. Unfortunately, you don't have a boss who can see through this. I was in the same situation and left a job I loved for many years. In my present job, I ran across another one of these people, but I had educated myself through books and websites like this. I recognized the pattern and reported the person for harassment. The behavior was stopped in its tracks. I don't know how to solve your problem, but keep reading and blogging. Workplace bullying can only be stopped when people recognize it and have the guts to do something about it.

Report this to your manager
by: Betsy

If it were me, I would report the harrassment to my manager. I don't think you say in your post whether or not this is a possibility.

She is putting in a very stressful situation on a daily basis, but leaving the company might not be an option for you, with the economy so bad. I would definitely get your manager involved. I wouldn't classify her as bipolar, though, unless she has actually been clinically diagnosed with manic depression. But I would call her controlling, inappropriate, incompetant, and harrassing. Good luck.

Thank you
by: Bipoloar Writer

All, I really appreciate your responses. I since have spoken with my manager and explained what was happening... not in details but I simply stated that she was not carrying her load of the work which was putting too much on me.

I told him how she's harassed me about work (yes, over the weekend and evenings) and I didn't like it plus she was not even doing her job, which is sales. She was relying on me not only for selling but product management, support, training, etc. I think you get the picture.

Bottom line...my manager knows her behavior and told me to do my job as he hired me to do and he would handle her -- he has my back.

Things have been calm but man she is VERY MAD at me right now! heeheehee

You are not alone
by: Anonymous

Oh my goodness, I had a crazy day with a bipolar (I assume) co-worker. Where do I begin? She has always been controlling, talks about others and then has her breaks with them which makes me feel like she is doing it about me too. Today she was out of control and had a real outburst like never before. I told her that everything was blown out of proportion, and she wouldn't stop yelling at me. Saying hurtful things to me. I started to right down all of the weird stuff she has done and I decided that I am done with her! Hope this helps. UGH!

Run
by: Anonymous

She sounds like a blister of a woman. I feel for you.

Does she have a twin?
by: Anonymous

I work in healthcare (scary) with a woman that could be your coworkers twin. The same over the top explosive manipulative behaviors. Unfortunately she is my superior which she feels entitles her to behave however she sees fit. I have tried to talk to management but have had little satisfaction - they listen and acknowledge but have done very little. I await her next explosion or meltdown and the subsequent attack on me...

Too new
by: Anonymous

I have a coworker who some others have called manic. I have only been in this job 2 weeks. To me she behaves as if she has been raised by wolves, with no courtesy or politeness or manners that are expected from polite society.

My 1st encounter: She was to explain/train me on something that she needs done. It was very hard to follow her. I told her I would need to ask her questions and be walked through the steps when implementing the tasks. I mentioned this to my manager and I was not too pleased with the response. Not a direct disagreement but one of those slight displeasures. Hence I began training with a different coworker who was very thorough and patient.

2nd encounter: She went on and on and on. Listening to her I began to believe she expected me to work full-time on the job she was describing. I am an administrative assistant but she told me she expected me to put on gloves and accession specimens. Then she went on and on about the smallest of details. (I can understand part of this as I can be quite anal about certain things and I like them done a certain way; although I realize it is unrealistic to expect others to do things exactly as you do.) Her behavior can be quite huffy because that day she was upset because I would not stay late to work nor go into the lab and she stormed off because I did not drop everything and stay and do what she said.

3rd encounter: OK so she is huffy... today I had a question about a batch (forms/papers) and she was in the lab working. She quietly said she had to finish that. I said ok come chat with me later. When she entered my office I was in the middle of a task. So we talked and then because she had made it clear the day before that these batches must be kept in the lab I asked her to return it and I would get it later. ONce again she had a fit and said she was not in the lab and she thought I was ready to scan it. (1) how would I know where she was (as I am in my office) and (2) why should I jump up and scan when she says so. So she expects others to respect her time but she cannot respect yours. (Or is it only me?!)

Warning another coworker described her as a bully. I have a meeting with my manager tomorrow.

Bipolar
by: Anonymous

Wow, ignorant much? The internet is an amazing thing, maybe you all should use it and stop assuming every crazy person you work with is bipolar. No wonder there is such a stigma that goes with it. You people are awful.

I am bi-polar
by: Rikki

I am that girl you were just reading about. I try to keep it under control. but what you dont understand is bipolar disorder is just like having cancer. YOU CANT CHANGE IT.

you guys make me sick. you cant even open your mind up enough to realize there is something wrong with her and get her help. you just sit and laugh.

Scared
by: Anonymous

I also work with someone who seems bipolar. She tried suicide 2 years ago, then left her husband and became a "cougar" for several months last year before she crashed and her husband took her back, and did I mention her husband is also the office manager where we both work. Things seemed ok for short period of time but beginning this past summer I started seeing signs of her being manic again, I was going to mention it to her husband but I was advised not to by a mutual friend. I'm sorry I didn't say anything back then because now everyone in the office is being effected and several of us fear for our lives, one coworker even parks near a back entrance in case she goes postal. I want to believe she wouldn't hurt anyone but having taken a knife to her throat once already really scares me. I may start seeing a professional to talk to about this because I really can't continue this for to much longer and I'm starting to realize that being fearful for your life is not way to go to work each day.


Note from Anton: I don't believe there is a correlation between being bipolar and going "postal". It is generally targets of workplace bullying rather than the bullies (bipolar or not) that go postal as a response to having their lives destroyed in the face of profound injustice.

My Life Story! Right Now!
by: Anonymous

Long story short... I work with someone who has threatened me and another co worker. There are only three of us in our building. Is so crazy and all over the place. Very obsessive and insecure. After her outbursts, always cries and apologizes! Has had more warnings than any one person I've ever seen! A know it all. Then has meltdowns! Has attempted suicide. Been arrested for assaulting her mother while drunk. The biggest bully you ever seen! It goes on and on. My work place refuses to fire her for fear of a lawsuit because she has disclosed she takes medication and sees a shrink! CRAZY!!! Oh,and the best part, I work nights with her, ALONE!

The Boss?s Daughter
by: Anonymous

I am having a very difficult time with my bipolar co-worker. I won?t bore you with all the things that have happened in four years, but if you have a bipolar co-worker, I?m sure you can imagine.

I am not a timid person by any means!, but since she is the boss/owner?s daughter, there isn?t much that I can do. I have talked to him (boss) about some of the problems with her attitude and serious mood swings, and he just tells me to try and ignore it. Well, I am sick of ?ignoring? it!! There are only 4 people working here, including my boss & myself, so it is difficult to ignore it, or try not to deal with it.

I am just at a loss. I used to love my job, but after this last episode, I just don?t know what it do.

nightmare
by: Labreeze

I work with a "possible" "bipolar" or difficult behavior person who also is a pathological liar. It has been the worse ten months ever. I've been trying to find other employment but my field is a specialty and jobs are rare. The worse of it all is it is only me and this difficult coworker in a lab 10 whole hours a day. I don't know what to do.

I've been to my supervisor about her and you guessed it, nothing ever gets done. AND when my supervisor does come to check us, the supervisor always has her foot out the door when she walks in our lab. It has been so unfair from the very beginning because its always been all about her, the difficult coworker, and it doesn't matter who gets hurt in the process of her getting her way. I work in a hospital and she even gets away with not wearing scrubs like we are suppose to.

I've tried to be patient with her and listen to her grand stories and its got me frazzled. I walk in the break room and she follows me talking, I walk in my lab room and she follow me talking... Her mouth moves so fast and so much by the end of the day I'm exhausted and not from our work but from her.

What can I do? I'm exhausted from her chaotic ways and her moving mouth!

WEIRD COWORKER
by: Anonymous

My problem is with a coworker that is always asking questions. When I answer the question he flips out. He says I am very negative and don't know anything. He is always trying to bait me into an argument. When I'm trying to work he always interrupts me so I can listen to his problems. When I try to avoid conflict he says I am ignorant and childish. This situation has caused a lot of undue stress on me. I am really tired of trying to make peace all the time and being a punching bag. I really don't want to get him in trouble but don't know what else to do. I guess i will keep ignoring him and maybe he will go away.

bipolar coworker
by: Anonymous

I know exactly how you feel. I too have been through similar situations in that area of the hot/cold dilemmas. All I can say is keep doing your best and try not to allow this person to get to your emotions just keep this person on her toes because sooner or later others will catch on and see her in real self. Keep on keeping on!

Bipolar Boss
by: Anonymous

Thank you for sharing your stories. The symptoms you describe are the same Ive noticed in my Supervisor. Six months into my new job & someone finally told me she is Bipolar. So here I sit looking for answers to my daily grind & it sounds like employers are at a loss as to what to do with these employees for fear of lawsuits. Yikes! I pray for compassion, understanding, & patience but the bullying is hard to stand. She has been very hurtful to me.

This is just workplace bullying
by: Anonymous

This is just workplace bullying. Ive worked with 2 women at two companies that top everything you describe here. They just do it to drive you crazy so you will quit. Ive even worked with bosses (directors) who USE people like this to drive away unwanted (too high a salary) employees. Wake up. It is most likely an act or even if it is real... GET OUT. I stayed for 7 months too long.. then quit (after going through all the steps with HR and management. I suffer from PTSD and have been unemployed for four years out of fear of having had worked with this woman (she will find a clone in my next job.. and it will all be repeated--- as I stated above.. I worked with two women like this.. both as successive jobs.. both doing the same thing but to a increasing degree..) Its flat out workplace stalking and abuse that will continue until I work with an employer not looking for *what can we do to this employee to make them quit*. It's blacklisting. Get off of linkedin, go back to old fashioned references.. and set boundries.. such as... *you did x,y,z. All make me uncomfortable. please communicate with me by documented email only as needed to as per your and my job description states (ie-you are not my boss) Please also respect my physical boundries-such as being within arms reach for a prolonged period of time-- your behavior has made me feel physically unsafe. Thank you.*

bipolar
by: Anonymous

First of all I can appreciate how difficult of a situation you are in, whether the woman is bipolar or not. Second, I feel that it is unfair to "diagnose" someone as bipolar when you are not a professional. Third, I am upset by the fact that people think that bipolar people are being manipulative on purpose or hatefully. What is actually going on here is that we expend a great deal of energy trying to appear normal before we just start to lose it. We hate it more than anyone else does and do not like being called crazy or anything else. Let's try to remember that we are talking about fellow human being(s) here and those who are actually diagnosed with bipolar disorder or any other mental illness is chemically imbalanced which is something that they cannot change. You can get psych care, couns, and manage with meds which is what I have been doing personally, and successfully, for 3.5 yrs now.

Use of Bipolar
by: Anonymous

The use of the word "Bipolar" really is not totally appropriate here.

I have Bipolar Disorder and would just like to say that a lot of what is being said here perpetuates the idea that people with a mental health condition are unstable.

Bipolar disorder in general means a person is more likely to get high ie. hyper and low i.e. depressed. It varies from person to person and can be managed with medication/support in a lot of cases. If someone is changeable and intense it does not make them bipolar.

Bad choice of phrase me thinks. I hate the fact that a lot of "difficult" people are labelled "bipolar" and visa versa. The people discussed here sound difficult. If however someone does have a diagnosis, you could try to be a little more understanding. But also just because a person has a diagnosis does not give them the right to be an arsehole - but perhaps means that they are unaware that their behaviour is inappropriate. Just some thoughts.

difficult situation
by: anon

I work with someone that has bipolar disorder (clinically diagnosed). It is extremely stressful and I'm constantly on edge and wondering if my next interaction with her will be friendly and pleasant or if she'll be rude, condescending, disrespectful and inappropriate. It's awful. I get she has a disease, but that doesn't mean my own feelings and rights aren't important as well. I deserve to work in an environment free from harrassment where I'm treated with respect. Bending over backwards to make excuses and allowances for people doesn't help anyone. If someone with bipolar disorder's actions are negatively impacting other employees then they shouldn't be at work until their behavior is under control.

hostile workplace
by: Anonymous

i have complete compassion for people with emotional illness - however, if it impacts people in the workplace, something needs to be done to address it - my boss leaves me walking on eggshells and is beginning to trigger my own emotional issues and stress - no one should have to work in a hostile environment - my problem is that my boss owns the company - i will need to find a new job

Bipolar, Bullying, and The Toxic Comment..
by: Anonymous

I understand your frustrations, fears, stress, and sadness. I understand you don't want to hurt your friends' feelings. Bipolar isn't something that is easily controlled by either. It is just as hard as it is for you to deal with it on a work/friend basis as it is for your friend. Many Bipolar patients loose friends because of a chemical imbalance. Medicine is there to help out and so is the therapy. However, when people such as your friend isn't seeking help, or taking any medications or seeing a therapist/psychologist, can make yours, others, and her life much harder. It's hard to know if your friend is seeking any help/aid for her disorder. Try staying away from her for a while like a day or two or three, such as not being social with her. Answer her work related questions, help her out work related, other than that, do not socialize with for that time being, and when, which I believe she will, ask you why you're not wanting be her friend anymore (which she might say, because of refusal to take part in social friendship with her). Just tell her calmly,
"I don't want to hang out with you because your behavior hurts my feelings."

Or/and

"Your behavior is inappropriate and I will not hand out with you until your behavior changes."

Or/and

"You're bullying me and (when she asks you how's that so, giver her many examples such as the one's you've endured) friends don't bully friends."

Or/and

"When you start treating me with respect, and stop bullying me, I'll be social with you again."

Now, yes, I know these questions might seem too harsh however, sometimes she needs to realize about her behavior and how it's affecting, and your friendship with her. Maybe she'll be your friend again, or she might not. You can pull her aside and explain the examples above on addressing these issues with her, and ask her, if she is getting help with her disorder, i.e. medication, therapy etc. This might be difficult to bring up to her so try saying something like this:

"You're my friend and your actions and behavior is affecting our friendship and I wouldn't want our friendship to end (assuming you don't by your post)... I have read that people with Bipolar Disorder need help by a doctor in getting medicine to help them with behaviors like yours, are you getting help?" Assure her she doesn't need to go into detail about it. When she answer this question, you'll get an idea as to whether or not to remain friends with her.

NO BIPOLAR PERSON IS TOXIC! IT'S AN INAPPROPRIATE INSULT AND THAT IS BULLYING! Ignore what the other person had said about your friend being toxic. This person just bullied your friend publicly on the internet.

I hope that this will help you out, and I am sorry to read that you’re being bullied. Try imagining being her shoes. It's not an easy situation for the both of you,

Go to WEBMD.com, this website will be able to inform you and you might be able to and you can learn more about Bipolar Disorder, if you haven't of course. :)

think about yourself
by: Anonymous

I came through your post and I reminded myself the same nightmare I was going through last year. I enjoyed a strong and stable career in my "dream job" when the deputy boss came back from her extended maternity leave.

Her constant mood swings, crying at the desk, yelling at me in front of others or even laughing at the meetings with board of directors, accusations of ignoring her and not talking to her, not greeting her. Systematically she withdrawn my work and replaced with the menial tasks. She started to spread incredible stories about me, questioning me as a person, my intellectual abilities and me in person being a woman.

I finished on long term sick leave diagnosed with PTSD and depression. I will not go further into details what was the reaction of a company for her misdeeds. She was a long term friend of the boss and nothing happened to her - any reprimand, nothing.

I would advise you to think over your situation. First o all it is not your fault at all because she is unbalanced. Realise that she is a completely sick person and despite how hard you would try she will not improve and she will not change. Review your personal and financial situation and decide if it is worth to thrive in such environment. Nothing is worth to sacrifice your sanity. Consider even to leave your job even if nothing is lined up for you.

Write a formal complain about the situation and behaviour of that person to HR (with a proof of receipt of the post). Take some time off, even go for a stress leave as long as you can. Separate yourself from the sick person and look for a new job, maybe it is a good time to start your own business?

Don't believe that any mediation will help in this matter - a sick person will not change.

If you experience frequent phone calls or emails, consider to report this to police as stalking. Cut down any contact you have with this person, change your phone number.

Remember that fighting in the Court with employer is coming through this again and will cost you a fortune and a permanent health damage.

Realize and explain to yourself that this may also be a short term problem or you and within a few weeks/months you may enjoy a completely new, happy life.

Remember, life is too short to thrive in such situation, with a toxic person ruining your life.

Dangerous co-worker
by: Anonymous

I have a co-worker who started with our company about a year ago. She's 60 years old, seemingly a gentle grandma type but smart as a whip! She seemed ready to learn and work with closely with me! Our friendship blossomed quickly. It wasn't a month later when I noticed some disturbing signs.

(1) Strange lofty comments. 'I can have any man I want.' 'I have the kind of body that makes everything look good'. (2) She grew increasingly paranoid over losing her job. Once I had to calm her down for 4 hours as she cried over the possibility of lay off. Even tho there was almost zero chance of it. She would not listen to logic. (3) Outbursts. She would accuse me of preventing her from getting training. She would start accusing me and yelling at me, twisting my words around. (4) Moody snappy comments. 'I know that!' 'I'm not stupid!' 'Stop and listen to me!' (5) She sometimes loses her ability to talk and needs to slap herself to get her words right. (4) She believes all my friends are her friends and gets very upset when they don't invite her to lunch along with me.

The reality is that I've been at this agency for a long time, I have good friends and strong support. I've noticed that she's made a strategic effort to befriend my good friends and take over my projects. Now it appears she has filed a complaint about the way I dress, which is ludicrous. Also, after a recent accusation and outburst, I discovered that my car was damaged - key-ed. The police officer that came to the scene said that this is usually 'personal' - someone who knows my car, where I park and my daily behavior.

Yes, I'm concerned. After reading about bi-polar disease, I feel that this maybe her issue. She's had a rough life and I feel sorry for her. I think that she could enjoy her work if only she would be calm, peaceful and secure in herself. But the personal attacks are not fair.

For now, my director knows and has promised me that he cannot prevent jealousy, but he can protect me. Also, my boyfriend has installed cameras in the car. If she attempts anything, we may get it on tape.

Mostly I am sad. I can see that she's trying to cope. She goes to meditation religiously every week and she surrounds herself with what she calls 'good aura' - spraying some spray over her head every day. She should probably just take medication but she's against doctors.

I can tell she's suffering but neither can I become a victim of her destructiveness.

-- troubled

Stop labeling every behavior as Bipolar Disorder
by: Anonymous

Many of you are labelling all these negative behaviours as bipolar. Have you even researched this disorder?? Doesn't sound like it.
I am bipolar and although I am on medication that helps a great deal, I still have days where I struggle.
I work in a low paying, stressful job that I really don't like because when I was on disabilty and was diagnosed my old company found a loophole and replaced me. Even my boss said this was wrong but he had no say in the matter. Fifteen years of hard work building a career and I was knocked on my ass.
I finally found a lower paying job after a year of looking which I took because I am a single parent with 2 kids to support.
I am a hard worker and get good reviews except there id usually a mention of me socializing better. All I want is to do my job and be left alone yet I am surrounded by ignorant people (including some managers and HR staff) who expect me to conform. Like I could just turn off my Bipolar.
I have issues with concentration (because of the disorder)so I focus hard to ensure my work is done correctly and often have block out noise and distractions around me.Because of this people think I am cold and sntisocial. I also have a lot more going on in my life which also is stressful and keeps me preoccupied yet people just expect you to "smile" and bullshit your way through the day.
I had one coworker who didn't gave a care in the world and figured I should be interested in every aspect of her life to the point she got on my nerves. I snapped at her so she told me to "up my meds".
I even discussed this with HR and it all came back on me because this coworker was very social and well liked.
No one even tried to understand my side of things and i felt really bad about myself.
Then my mom helped me refocus on what I have accomplished.
I had lost a career, sunk into a dark place, was in danger of being hospitalized and was almost ruined financially. The worst part was that I could have gone deeper and lost my kids. But I didn't. I was lucky.
But even with bipolar I was able to pull myself up and restart. I may not be where I want to be but I've come a long way. I also have a child with an anxiety disorder where he doesn't talk at school and I am always afraid of what he faces with all the stigmas out there about mental illness.
So called "normal" people have no idea what people who are bipolar (or other mental illnesses) struggle with but the stigmas and the labelling of all negative behaviour as bipolar certainly makes it worse.
You have a right to a good work environment but so do people with bipolar disorder. I hope you don't find the roles reversed some day.

Lumpo
by: Anonymous

So you automatically assume these people are bipolar because they are obnoxious, bullies, and/or unstable? Or is it because someone else told you that they these people are bipolar?
As someone who actually is bipolar (diagnosed by a professional not office gossip), I can only shake my head as the stigma associated with this disorder grows with comments and assumptions like these.
I lost a good job because of this type of stigma bullshit. I was still on disability and newly diagnosed and the company replaced me despite protests from my boss. Up to that point they were holding my job. Now I have a crappy low paying job that stresses me out but is necessary so that I can take care of my kids.
Even with medication there are struggles including issues with focus/concentration. I work hard and get good reviews except that I am told that I need to be more social. It takes all my efforts to focus. One coworker I had an issue with had no experience with mental illness on any level. She seemed to think that I was supposed to be interested in everything in her life. It got on my nerves to the point that I snapped at her and she told me to "up my meds". Manager and HR basically said that it was all my problem. She was very social and all about being liked and I'm not. She also said she sometimes felt bullied but couldn't provide a single example of when I supposedly did this. We hardly ever spoke because we didn't have much in common as I have an entirely different set of issues and concerns that she had no concept of.
I try to keep my head down and just focus and do my job and then people say I'm "stuck up" or "cold".
Why do people need to judge what they don't understand?

SO UNFAIR!
by: Anonymous

I work in a hospital. And my co-worker yells and screams at all of us. Her behavior has gotten worse over the years. She has bullied a co-worker so bad this person left the dept. Every time we have complained about her. It turns on us. No one wants to deal with her. Her work load is horrible. She wont help and blames others for problems. Last week my co-worker threw a fit and hit me with a box. I reported this problem and my co-worker lied on me and told the boss that I pushed her. If she can't get you one way she will tell lies so you can get in trouble. She also has a "friend" who is sick like her. The two of them cause so many problems in our dept. No one wants to deal with the issue and many times when you complain it is turned on us. We are in a "no win" situation.It is so bad. My co-worker and don't like to go in our office when she is in there.The only way for me to get over this issue is to leave and find another job.

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