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Explaining without Disclosing

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  • Explaining without Disclosing

    I'm a DVM student and this year we have our junior surgeries. I've been exempted from night checks on my patients because my Zeldox is so sedating that I'd be impaired if I tried to fight it to do the checks, which obviously wouldn't be safe for my patients or for me. Now my struggle is to explain my exemption to my classmates without disclosing my diagnosis - I know it's going to be noticed, and I really don't want my classmates to know what it is I'm truly dealing with! This might turn out to be unrealistic, but I want to keep my diagnosis (BPI with mixed features and psychotic features) completely hidden from my professional life. I'm hoping to specialize, and while I'm treatment compliant and stable, I don't need that following me! I'm working on a script for how to tell them why I'm not doing night checks, but if anyone has tips for how to approach it I'd love to hear them!

  • #2
    Personally I chose not to disclose my mental illness in my workplace. I was stable for many years, and when I did get sick and was required to be off work, it was difficult. People cared and wanted to know what was wrong. They had gotten to know me as a person, before they knew me as a person with a mental illness. I think it helped.
    AJ

    Humans punish themselves endlessly
    for not being what they believe they should be.
    -Don Miguel Ruiz-

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    • #3
      Exactly - I always feel like I need to prove myself first, so that if people find out about my diagnosis they'll already have an impression of me that wasn't coloured by my bipolar. Maybe that's a bit dysfunctional, I'm not sure. I really don't want it following me professionally, so I'm trying very hard not to disclose at school.

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      • #4
        For me it was about survival in the work place. Work is hard enough without dealing with other peoples hangups right off the bat. I shared things about myself with those I chose to, when I was ready to.
        AJ

        Humans punish themselves endlessly
        for not being what they believe they should be.
        -Don Miguel Ruiz-

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        • #5
          Hello Gossip. If you tell them anything at all, keep it simple and don't get into specifics.. Say that you have a sleep condition that makes night work difficult and leave it at that. Or at most say that you take medication to help you with a sleep problem and this leaves you unable to do nights. Most will accept that, a few won't but stand firm. Good Luck I know it's tough. Take Care. paul m
          "Alone we can do so little;
          Together we can do so much"
          Helen Keller

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          • #6
            Thanks Paul. The night check list is up and I'm not on it. So far nobody has asked.... I'm hoping that's just how it's going to go and it's a non-issue, but it almost seems too good to be true!

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            • #7
              Thatís great advice. I need to know what to say when people ask what my 25 year old son is up to, where does he work (nope) and why he is still living at home. Nosy nosy people but I need a sound bite to back them off me.

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              • #8
                Hello 13dreams. People used to ask why I didn't work etc etc. I used to tell them I was medically retired. I don't think anything makes nosy people back off. My oldest son still had only a modest job and for him that's a great accomplishment, but to some it seems that they are comparing how well their kids are doing compared to mine. When asked about my son. I tend to give very little info and say that he is getting by or why don't you ask him. No great one liners, but ones that discourage a reply. (we also went through a stage where our son couldn't work). I did have a little success telling people that he was ill with a mental illness and I did not know if he could ever work unfortunately.That tends to shut the conversation off, but perhaps your son doesn't want people to know that he has a mental illness, so that has to be factored in. Take Care. paul m
                "Alone we can do so little;
                Together we can do so much"
                Helen Keller

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                • #9
                  Hi Paul! Thank you for your reply. I am sad to say but I have kept up a lie about my son working. Just a cleaning job that I always said to people at work in an effort to say something so I wouldnít get the judgemental comments both to my face and behind my back. Even my own sister and her husband have accused me of coddling him. Lmao, last time I checked you cannot make someone mentally ill. I think they are projecting. Anyway, I digress.
                  i have moved into a new position at a different location and mentioned casually when people asked about my kids that my son suffers from anxiety. I donít think I have had to mention his job yet and to be honest I am not comfortable with lying. I really donít know if he wants his situation revealed, he has never talked about not telling anyone. Actually I think he doesnít acknowledge any illness at all. I think at one time we both had more hope and openess. My hope is gone and pretty sure his too. I guess I will be not very forthcoming to others for now because really itís not anyoneís business is it? I had what I thought was a good friend but have since discovered that there was some talk behind my back with some (used to be) mutual friends. They all (except this friend) unfriended me on FB so I knew something was up. Therefore when she asks about my son I try to say as little as possible which is sometimes difficult to do since she talks about her kids and all their fun adventures into adulthood and I find it awkward. But I donít want to then give up my secrets because I know it will be gossiped about with these women. It is so none of their business.

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