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Ask Slashdot: Working With Others, As a Schizophrenic Developer? 218

Posted by timothy
from the brains-play-tricks-sometimes dept.
An anonymous reader writes: "I hope there are a few open source developers on Slashdot who understand this. As a developer who works alone and remotely (while living with my own family) — and is schizophrenic — there would be times I would feel very high (a surge of uncontrollable thoughts), or low because of the kind of failures that some patients with mental illness would have, and because of the emotional difficulty of being physically alone for 8 hours a day. This led me to decide to work physically together with my co-workers. Have you been in this situation before? If you have, how well did you manage it? (Medications are a part of the therapy as well.)"
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Ask Slashdot: Working With Others, As a Schizophrenic Developer?

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  • Build trust (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 22, 2013 @01:31PM (#45760605)

    Your ability to be productive and stay on the "happy path" will come from the ability to trust your team, trust yourself, and have your team trust you. I'd start with setting and achieving goals, and asking for help early in the process if you feel things start to slip.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Every worker has or has had a "wacko" boss. Most noticeable among my "wacko" bosses have been a bi-polar, a narcissist, and a lot of dysfunctional control freaks. Some have had behavioral/environmental problems and some have had physiological problems. If they are honest and share this, the work group will accept them and everyone thrives. It like, this "wacko" is My "wacko". Those that try to hide that they are "wacko" are unacceptable bosses and nobody likes them.

      I would suggest that honest is the be

      • by g0bshiTe (596213)
        My experience wacko people are the most fun to be around at work and in general, it's the "normies" that you have to avoid.
    • Self-confidence really helps. Know that you are providing value to your team. Everyone has quirks, rough spots, and less than ideal moments / days. Try to see past those in your team-mates, and yourself. Focusing on little negative spots is missing the reason you're doing this.

      I don't know much about meds, but if you are on that path, I would guess that consistency is a very good thing. People don't like surprises, and medicated vs non-medicated behavior can be lead to... unexpected things.

  • by jddj (1085169) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @01:32PM (#45760615) Journal
    What with the usual tenor of Slashdot comments, wanted to say early: awesome that you're working, doing it, trying to live in the "normal" world, where the normals don't often understand. My heart and thoughts are with you.
    • just some random stuff to ponder

      1 be very very VERY careful about your meds (and include any herbal stuff in the list of your meds)
      2 when you find the right mix ensure that you have spare/extra doses available (chat up your local chemist so that they know when you need a refill YOU NEED IT NOW)
      3 consider having a set of status lights on your workstation for Mood is (Up /Neutral /Down and Meds are Good /Iffy / Bad|OFF)
      4 if you do start hearing Voices check with a coworker as to how good the Idea is before yo

  • by mspohr (589790) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @01:35PM (#45760643)

    ...for any reason... Ever!

    • by rvw (755107)

      ...for any reason... Ever!

      Don't ever reply with these stupid comments - for any reason - ever!

      Do you really think a comment like this makes a difference? Would any mentally ill person follow your advice? If they decide (consciously or not) to stop taking medication because it's no good for them anymore, then they will stop. Comments like these will mean nothing or do the opposite.

      The story submitter probably takes his medication, and has insight in his illness. That is about the best you can wish for with illnesses like these.

      • by mspohr (589790) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @02:19PM (#45760967)

        I am a doctor with many years experience working in the ER. I have encountered many schizophrenic patients who have stopped taking their meds, end up unable to cope and need hospital admission. What happens is that people feel better (because of their meds) and begin to think that they don't need the meds so they stop.
        Just don't stop taking your meds. The reason you are feeling better is because of the meds. Just don't stop.

        • by rvw (755107)

          I am a doctor with many years experience working in the ER. I have encountered many schizophrenic patients who have stopped taking their meds, end up unable to cope and need hospital admission.

          I have someone close with this illness who takes the medication. What I do know is that this is an advice that is useless in the sense that the people who need this advice generally don't take it from people they don't know. People who take meds, and then decide to stop for some paranoid reason won't be reached with this advice as well.

          • by mspohr (589790)

            So... best to give up and not offer advice at all?
            I believe that the OP was asking for advice: "Ask Slashdot".

        • This is exactly what happens with a close relative. He thinks he no longer needs the meds and stops taking them and then degenerates into a world where he hears voices constantly, destroys everything in his home, attacks neighbors and family members, etc.

          The last incident where he tried to kill another relative resulted in 13 cops in the house and the patient got tazered five times, pepper sprayed and beaten by the cops in riot gear. In their defense, he is immensely strong and it took everything the poli

          • by hazah (807503)
            Heh... thank god my mother is smaller than I was when she decided that I'm one of "them". I can't really describe the feeling of having to subdue her fragile frame only because she thought world war 3 was in full swing (we lived on a main road, at the end of which there is a retirement home, which naturally means lots of sirens). I feel you.
            • Can relate. We live on a busy corner with stop signs and a lot of traffic. Passing emergency sirens or even cars with loud radios playing would pull my relative out into the yard where he would scream at anyone going by. He already hears things so noises make it worse.

              One of his front yard tirades took a racial angle and as a result some of the people he insulted returned with baseball bats looking for the person who had offended them. They didn't understand his problem and didn't care. They wanted

              • by GNious (953874)

                They didn't understand his problem and didn't care. They wanted revenge.

                Sounds like could use a regime of medication themselves...

          • by Shinobi (19308)

            "The last incident where he tried to kill another relative resulted in 13 cops in the house and the patient got tazered five times, pepper sprayed and beaten by the cops in riot gear. In their defense, he is immensely strong and it took everything the police had to control him. They only won when he finally wore down. He was hauled off to hospital where he remained for a month. He's now in a sort of nursing home and will probably never come home again"

            Been in a similar incident as a volunteer paramedic. Get

        • by c (8461)

          Just don't stop taking your meds. The reason you are feeling better is because of the meds. Just don't stop.

          Amen.

          My mother did community mental health outreach work for years (post-release patients, etc), and by a good margin, the number one cause of problems in followups was people not taking their medications.

          The number two cause appears to have been incredibly abusive, unsupportive or just generally dysfunctional families, which fortunately doesn't sound like an issue for the OP.

        • by colordev (1764040)
          The (good) effects of antipsychotic medicine are best illustrated by remembering how those resulted "an emptying of psychiatric hospitals".
          From wikipedia's Chlorpromazine [wikipedia.org] article...

          The effect of this drug [Chlorpromazine] in emptying psychiatric hospitals has been compared to that of penicillin and infectious diseases. But the popularity of the drug fell from the late 1960s as newer drugs came on the scene. From chlorpromazine a number of other similar antipsychotics were developed. It also led to the discovery of antidepressants.

          Chlorpromazine largely replaced electroconvulsive therapy, psychosurgery, and insulin shock therapy. By 1964, about 50 million people worldwide had taken it. In 1955 there were 558,922 resident patients in American state and county psychiatric hospitals. By 1970, the number dropped to 337,619; by 1980 to 150,000, and by 1990 between 110,000 and 120,000 patients.

          Anyone with a personal stake or interest in schizophrenia, should think about those numbers very carefully. A comforting thought for anyone impacted with schizophrenia is that it is mostly of biological origin and there will be improved and better targeting medicine available. A horrible horrible thing is that I may have dis

      • by pspahn (1175617)

        In a previous life, I worked with mostly medicated kids in a clinical K-12 setting. It was absolutely the norm for them to be inconsistent with their meds. Granted, these are kids and not adults (though we did have some 18 and 19 year olds), but being consistent with your meds (especially the heavy anti-psychotics that doctors are "best guessing" to their effects on the patient) is not something a lot of people are capable of.

        • by PCM2 (4486)

          In a previous life, I worked with mostly medicated kids in a clinical K-12 setting. It was absolutely the norm for them to be inconsistent with their meds.

          I've been told that the segment of people on meds for psychological disorders who go off their meds when they shouldn't, at some point in their treatment, approaches 100 percent. (And when I say "when they shouldn't have," I mean the solution for the problems that inevitably arise ends up being to get back on the meds, or similar ones.)

          • by muridae (966931)

            In a previous life, I worked with mostly medicated kids in a clinical K-12 setting. It was absolutely the norm for them to be inconsistent with their meds.

            I've been told that the segment of people on meds for psychological disorders who go off their meds when they shouldn't, at some point in their treatment, approaches 100 percent. (And when I say "when they shouldn't have," I mean the solution for the problems that inevitably arise ends up being to get back on the meds, or similar ones.)

            I could almost believe that. Most of the drugs are still in the "we think this is how they work" category. You have a psychological disturbance that results in paranoia (which can and does happen to people even with no diagnosed illness or even on medication), and the medication is an easy thing to lash out at. Or you experience tons of the listed side effects (either real or imagined, it wouldn't matter) and can't convince a doctor to change the medicine. The latter happened to me, real side effect was lo

            • by PCM2 (4486)

              A really common one is simply, "I feel fine. I feel better than I have in years, and I've felt this way for months." That's when people really start looking at side effects with a critical eye ("it makes me foggy") and decide they can go it on their own. And often it's insidious; if someone is manic, for instance, at what point do family members step in and say "you're not doing as well as you think you are"? If you're skipping your treatment, you're probably not getting the feedback you need to properly ev

              • Mania, or the manic phase of bipolar disorders, are completely different from straight depression. The drugs used to treat "just depression" can trigger severe manic episodes. Additionally, mania and manic phases are often accompanied by the psychosis views that I disclaimed. That makes the rationality of the medication harder for the person to understand.
      • "Do you really think a comment like this makes a difference? Would any mentally ill person follow your advice?"

        Yes, they would. Hearing this advice - and it's twin of "Do not adjust your own medication without doctor's okay" ARE helpful. Intellectually, we know not to fuck with our meds. However, there are times we think that we know better than ourselves.

        His positive comment is a reminder that while we may be feeling better, it is NOT okay for us to stop doing what we are doing.
        Just like the chiming l

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The Internet is filled with people urging the mentally ill to give up their medications and seek "alternative" cures. Quite often these people are mentally ill themselves, and are sure their non-medicated solution is really working. Sadly we rarely get any follow-up posts to find out how effective these alternative methods actually are. It is an extraordinarily dangerous and selfish thing to urge people to give up medication to utilize unscientific, unproven treatment options.

        For example, people commonly te

      • Heres the thing, people that take these meds that are Schizophrenic or other mental illness will(or could or can...etc) stop meds cause they feel better especially when they are on meds. The usual normal human behavior dictates that we should stop taking meds which I saw regularly around me unfortunately. So telling him to not stop taking meds when he feels like he's on the right path or felling good or happy is a legitimate reply and answer.
    • by shadowofwind (1209890) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @04:26PM (#45761785)

      I think your advice was reasonable, based on your experience, and it was reasonable for you to offer it.

      I do have a partial disagreement with it though. Medications have side effects, often significantly undesirable, and there isn't a clear, universally applicable line which distinguishes all schizophrenics from all non-schizophrenics. I have had symptoms which meet the definition of schizophrenia, and I had them a lot more for a couple of years before they went away again. Suppose I had decided it was a problem worth getting medication for. Then I could never stop the medications again? That would seem like a good reason to be very cautious about ever starting treatment.

      My sister is a doctor in a big city ER, so I can imagine what your experience is like. But that's a skewed sample. It doesn't include the much larger number of mild schizophrenics who never wind up in the ER. Also, many doctors are not very interested in understanding the more subtle tradeoffs with medications and their significance, and they prescribe drugs casually if the patient seems to be asking for it, or for the sake of doing some kind of treatment to cover their own liability or to justify the visit. How large a portion of doctors have that kind of arrogance I don't know, because I've encountered both. But the percentage who went into medicine because of some combination of attraction to money, having power over people, and vicarious sadism is not small. Particularly in the more difficult areas like mental health and ER work.

      • there isn't a clear, universally applicable line which distinguishes all schizophrenics from all non-schizophrenics

        Depending on the depth of psychosis, actually the opposite is true of accurate schizophrenia diagnoses compared to other common mental disorders. There's a simple and clear test that can determine whether you're schizophrenic: the hollow mask illusion. If you aren't fooled into seeing the concave side of the mask sticks outward, the odds you're schizophrenic increase tangentally. [youtube.com] The more psychotic you are, the less you can see the illusion.

      • by DamonHD (794830)

        I had a poor experience with some very off-hand senior doctor(s) prescribing me huge quantities of carbamazepine such that I could hardly function at all with the dosage, and refusing to discuss dosage or reasons with me. Eventually after talking to a doctor friend or two about actual uses and side-effects on my next visit I told the prescribing doctor that if they weren't going to tell me what they were doing or why and leave me like a zombie as if I didn't matter at all that I was going to stop taking th

  • Thinking of my experiences on commercial development teams in the USA, I think you should be prepared 1) to deal with a lot of prejudice and 2) to find infrequent interactions that are compassionate and gratifying.
  • by HornWumpus (783565) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @01:41PM (#45760691)

    We understand, to some extent, why you are so difficult to work with. We can make some accommodation.

    But if your having a bad day, take your ass home. Don't get self righteous. ADA does not make you right.

  • One suggestion... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by floobedy (3470583) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @01:42PM (#45760701)

    You might try telling any new co-workers right away that you have schizophrenia. That way, there will be less confusion and misunderstanding by others. You could just mention it in a matter-of-fact sort of way, by talking about schizophrenia as just a chronic illness like so many others. That might de-mystify it for some people.

    I worked with someone who had schizophrenia, and she simply told new co-workers right away. I thought it was a good way of handling it.

    Best of luck.

    • Re:One suggestion... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Sarten-X (1102295) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @01:57PM (#45760821) Homepage

      I absolutely agree... except about the "right away" part. I'd say give it a week or two for politics' sake.

      I have ADHD, so while working I feel a mental compulsion to jump around between three or four projects at once. I know that one of those projects is always going to end up being the one preempted by everything else, because I usually have enough competence for three projects, but feel most comfortable juggling four. I keep Slashdot as that fourth.

      When starting with a new team, I'll usually spend a week figuring out the team dynamics and demonstrating my abilities to the rest of the team. Yes, I keep Slashdot open on my computer, but I'm not slacking off. My projects still meet deadlines and work as promised. Once I can show that, I'll mention to people, often individually, that I have ADHD, and I'll explain with a few prepared sentences how I'm very uncomfortable being limited to focusing on a single task. Some folks will ask questions, others will just accept it, but generally speaking everyone is open by then to the idea that even though I'm mentally different, I can still be a productive member of the team.

      I have met one person who was concerned about my capability. He was under the impression that having ADHD meant I would be unable to focus on anything, which is an unfortunate persistent myth. By explaining my condition at the end of a productive week, I was able to give clear and specific examples of when my ADHD was an asset, and describe my mitigation techniques when it was a liability. We ended up working well together.

    • by QilessQi (2044624) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @02:04PM (#45760869)

      That was pretty courageous of her... mental health issues still carry a stigma above and beyond other types of disorders, at least in the United States. If the OP isn't comfortable with revealing his/her schizophrenia, a possible middle ground would be to say: "I have a chronic illness that I have to be on medication for, and my moods can be unpredictable at times. Please don't take anything personally." Most people would attribute behavior fluctuations to side-effects of the meds, and that would be that.

      And to the OP:

      I really applaud the decision of getting out of the house and interacting with people. I was a full-time telecommuter once, and the isolation really does take its toll. I don't even like dead-quiet workspaces: I prefer going to work in an environment full of professional interaction and conversation. But if I were you, I would ease into it. Start with half-time: either 5 half-days or 2.5 full days a week (e.g., all Monday, all Wednesday, and Friday morning). Then adjust your schedule in a way that makes sense. If you work a full day, give yourself the lunch hour as alone-time to help you mentally regroup for the second half of the day.

      Best of luck!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by floobedy (3470583)

        That was pretty courageous of her... mental health issues still carry a stigma above and beyond other types of disorders, at least in the United States. If the OP isn't comfortable with revealing his/her schizophrenia, a possible middle ground would be to say: "I have a chronic illness that I have to be on medication for, and my moods can be unpredictable at times. Please don't take anything personally." Most people would attribute behavior fluctuations to side-effects of the meds, and that would be that.

        I

        • by QilessQi (2044624)

          I agree with you in principle, but notice that I said if the OP isn't comfortable with revealing his/her schizophrenia.

          There's no need to push people into revealing that they have an illness which is still treated with fear and misunderstanding by most individuals, even educated ones. Diabetes doesn't have anywhere near that kind of social stigma.

          And I don't think it's a certainty that his/her coworkers are going to find out the specifics of their illness: there are a lot of chronic illnesses that affect m

  • Good luck (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 22, 2013 @01:42PM (#45760705)

    I think this is the first time I've posted anonymously to Slashdot in fifteen years...

    Yes, it's tricky. Working alone, if you have mental health issues, can lead to a number of problems. As you say, you're very isolated, and that's emotionally difficult. But more, there's no-one else there to notice when things start going wrong for you. I know from my own experience that I don't always have good insight into how poorly I'm performing. But working in a commercial setting - in an office, against deadlines - can be a considerable stress raiser, and may make your situation worse.

    This isn't always so. When I got my last job, I was seriously unwell and knew that I was. I very nearly didn't apply for the job because I thought I was too ill to do it. But when I actually got into the office, I found the work much easier than I expected and the team welcoming and generally good company, which boosted my self confidence and helped me towards a fairly rapid recovery.

    I'd avoid medication if you can. Apart from all their other lovely side effects, anti-psychotics and anti-depressants can make you substantially less sharp, which may make you less able to do the job. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, if you can get it, is helpful to many people (including me). Maintain a good relationship with your doctor and make sure he or she knows your situation and your anxieties. Try to have someone around you who can watch out for changes in your behaviour and let you know when you're looking shaky.

    And good luck!

    • Re:Good luck (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dmr001 (103373) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @02:02PM (#45760847)
      Attempting to treat an honest-to-goodness thought disorder like schizophrenia without medication is akin to treating near-sightedness with counseling. There's a place for cognitive therapy in schizophrenia but it's considered adjunctive treatment (among mainstream practitioners). There are a smattering of schizophrenics who can ignore auditory and visual hallucinations that are the hallmark of the disease, and anti-psychotics may indeed make some people feel less sharp (though that isn't universal). I'd wager that most people with schizophrenia are more capable of getting things done when they aren't beset by what are typically very vivid and often intrusive hallucinations. There are, of course alternative viewpoints [cmu.edu], such as that of the Church of Scientology.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by floobedy (3470583)

      I'd avoid medication if you can.

      Don't advise people with schizophrenia to discontinue their medications! For many schizophrenics, it's important that they take their meds consistently. Many schizophrenics do not notice when they are getting worse.

      Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, if you can get it, is helpful to many people (including me).

      It's possible that you have a mental condition which is different from the poster's. What works for you might not be good advice for him.

    • I'd avoid medication if you can.

      Yes, that's just what I want, my confirmed schizophrenic coworker - no matter how much I like them or respect their work - going off their meds and having (in the words of the person who submitted the story) "a surge of uncontrollable thoughts" ... not to mention the emotional well being of all the other employees, who knows about this Top Brogrammer's physical ability to hurt people when flipping out? Possible access to dangerous weapons? Workplace suicide?

      Yeah sure! Why not advise this individual with a m

    • I'd avoid medication if you can.

      How's Tom Cruise these days? Have you seen the latest Kirstie Alley extravaganza?

    • Concur with the importance of self-esteem. if you can't see your own value (clearly, and objectively, not a fantasy high or low...), you need someone who can help you to do that, even via e-mail or other remote feedback.

  • by bstarrfield (761726) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @01:45PM (#45760729)

    First, I really understand what you're saying. This is a tough situation, but I'm certain you can make it through.

    You're being really wise not to isolate yourself. Spending time with people will make a very substantial difference in both how you feel and your general recovery. Isolation, even with caring family will hurt you. Please keep on trying to interact with people.

    In terms of mental health... what you're describing sounds more like bipolar and less like schizophrenia. Schizophrenia can be medicated, if you're serious about it, carefully monitored, and have a good support system. Bipolar is a bit rougher, and you'll have to recognize what's happening to you yourself, and with the help of family and friends. Be very careful when you're manic - I know it can feel awesome, but the code you produce can be pretty damn awful. Depressed code is less of an issue as you'll likely not write that much.

    You'll find that folks in CS tend to be very understanding of mental health issues. Very, very understanding. We're in an industry filled with intelligent and generally caring people, and you'll find support. Just be honest with your colleagues about how you're doing, and most importantly, make sure your first priority is taking care of yourself.

    • by bstarrfield (761726) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @01:53PM (#45760783)

      Dang, forgot to add something. As a more senior manager who has hired folks with various mental maladies, I can state unequivocally that the ADA provides far less protection than you'd first assume. Try very hard not to make your illness a discussion matter when you're in the hiring process, at least not until an offer is present. Companies will look for any reason not to higher someone, and unfortunately the stigma of mental illness can make the hiring process difficult.

      Mental Health issues are just - unfair. It's ridiculous, it's unjust, it's reality that people with mental illness are often treated like crap. I wish I could change that, and when I hire folks I try to look past those issues. if someone is recovering from cancer, they're a hero. Someone with mental illness does not get that benefit. You must be smart, so try to play the game as it's presented to you, and understand that people are trying to improve the situation.

      Final thing - some firms will be much more understanding of mental illness issues than others. Stay way from anything related to defense, national security, and finance. Look to firms like Apple, Redhat, and other companies that will value you as an individual, not just a cog in a vast machine.

      • by matria (157464) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @04:48PM (#45761931)
        I hired a woman with mental health problems to work in my computer shop. I told her that as far as I was concerned it was no different than if she were diabetic and needed to take medication to control her blood sugar. Unfortunately she did not keep her doctor's appointments, even though I ended up marking them on the shop whiteboard and reminding her, and she did not take her medication regularly. After eight or nine months, and some pretty unhappy clients, I had to let her go. She was very bitter and tried to cause problems. So I can understand why many firms might be reluctant to hire someone with such an issue.
    • by Vasheron (1750022)

      Be very careful when you're manic...

      Most bipolars when they're manic have no insight into the fact that they are manic. This allows them to gleefully destroy their lives without realizing that they are doing so. I know this because I am bipolar. The last time I was manic I quit my job, spent enough money to ensure bankruptcy, and committed a criminal offence. If you are bipolar and someone thinks you're displaying signs of mania, the best thing to do is go to the hospital.

  • by fred911 (83970) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @01:48PM (#45760743)

    Limiting your exposure to others is one of them. Do you think there are more benefits than liabilities being in close proximity to peers?

  • do you know when the surge of thoughts are coming? if yes, there are two possibilities: (1.) your co-workers are agreeable or open-minded people... or not. if they are, you can call them for a break (no pun intended) and share your thoughts. maybe they'll have feedback, they'll be inspired or just plain amused. don't be offended if they do. humor is one of the best - and complex - responses a human being can give. if they are TOO curious, tell them to read some Jung or R.D. Laing, hehe. (2.) your co-worke
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Routines, coworkers and responsibilities are really useful for me (bipolar...) and i know i would not do well with working alone. So props and best of luck.
    Youll probably want to inform your supervisor about your condition since theyll be either your biggest supporter or your biggest problem. As far as coworkers, tell them if you can make it seem like no big deal...
    Make sure you have some flexibility with scheduling and can duck out as needed. A private space, or the ability to hide out i

  • by areusche (1297613) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @02:10PM (#45760903)

    Highly functioning individuals all tend to have various quirks, idiosyncrasies, and other habits. I've worked with aspies, the depressed, and what have you and while all of them may suffer immensely in their personal worlds they are self aware enough to not let their disorder control them. They work with it and through it rather than using it as an excuse for problems.

    Most people don't discuss mental health problems to other individuals unless it's going against a social fabric. "Why is John swearing randomly?" "Oh he has tourettes." Or the like.

    As long as you can make most of the dead lines you will be fine. If you find yourself really getting into a hole, like a dark one, these sometimes happen then be honest with your manager in private and let him know what's going on. If you need a break than so be it. But remember, you're on a team and the success of the team falls onto you. Don't be the weakest link, your team mates will need you.

    Stay strong my friend.

  • ...most people just think i'm kinda an asshole at times.. who isn't beside the phony passive-aggressive politically careful types that hide their true feelings for strategic reasons?

    maybe i should get diagnosed with some kind of disorder so I can blame that for my moments...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Read a book.

      A disorder such as this is incredibly disabling, is not an "excuse", and is not fortunate for anyone.

      Considering your perspective on mental disabilities, your perspective on people aren't aren't "assholes at times", and your general pedantic tone, I'm not surprised your coworkers think of you you as an asshole at times. Consider yourself lucky it's only "at times".

  • As a Bipolar type 2 suffer, I can understand. I do however find it difficult to retain work despite my ability
  • I've worked with a number of challenged people; the ones who were frank about their issues made it way easier; the ones who were in active denial, way harder.

    While you're discussing it, recommend the TV show "Perception" - hell, hand out free AVI files. The show's character may have little in common with your particular issues; likely he is far worse, since it shows him having long conversations with hallucinated people - but the point is, the show provides an example of somebody with a very serious schiz

  • by Anonymous Coward

    My ex-wife is schizophrenic and I observed that social interaction at work was very important for her well being. She's not able to hold a regular job now, but does work part time as a volunteer doing filing which gives her some structured interaction. And having worked on software at home a lot alone myself, I know how bad the lack of social interaction can be for ones mental health even if you're not schizophrenic.

    It might help to consciously act a part. This is actually what most people do. They go a

  • by dbc (135354) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @02:54PM (#45761183)

    I have some experience with this as a manager. I had an employee (good, productive, employee), who was, unknown to me, bipolar. Meds kept it pretty well under control. For some reason or another, he changed doctors -- first one moved away or whatever. Anyway, the new MD decided to tinker with the meds. It didn't work out well. Severely abridged version of story: after the worst 3 days of my life as a manager ever, plus 2 HR reps, plus company nurse, plus N other impacted idividuals, we finally got him help. He was on medical leave for several weeks after that before things got put right again.

    Here is the thing: he had plenty of friends in the company who would have been in the position to notice something going awry and heading off the trouble before it became a crisis. So, make a friend you can trust. One to whom you are not afraid to say: "My doctor is adjusting my medication. Watch for anything strange. If the wheels come off, here is my brother's phone number."

  • Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    I'm a schizophrenic
    And so am I

    I keed, I keed!!

  • This is a post to help those that experience the same lives that the anonymous poster has, as well as I do: Many schizophrenics and people who experience abnormal thought patterns and/or manic episodes actually have an advantage by thinking “outside of the box.” See the movie “A Beautiful Mind” about John Nash. He is a man who experienced schizophrenia and then found success after many trial and errors. Quoting your anonymous post message, “that you feel very high (a surge of
  • which is like having manic depression aka bi-polar disorder with schizophrenia and less than one half a percent of the US population suffers from it.

    The big problems that I have is I am almost always misunderstood. People think that just because I am mentally ill I must be crazy, insane, stupid, incompetent, etc.

    I can still do my work for jobs, but no employer wants to hire me. If I do get hired as soon as they discover I am mentally ill coworkers start to harass me and pick on me and bully me to force me t

    • Sorry that came off as negative. I have a problem with the language center of my brain.

      If you want you can work on side-projects with me. I have others who are trying to work with me as well. I've been where you are now, and I've been damaged, but I can still do work.

    • I have Asperbergs(sp), sorry "DSM5:high functioning autism", and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
      I doubt I can be much help but maybe some of your programming ideas might be interesting to me.

      Do I have to treat you like a human; can I treat you like a robot instead? :D

  • $22 million for each mental health recovery
    November 21, 2010 at 6:24pm
    On October 27, 2000, King County in Washington State, by a vote of 11 to 1, passed a very unusual ordinance. This directed psychiatrists working in the state mental health system to make their patients well and to report annually on how successful they had been in achieving this goal. The ordinance defined exactly what was to be considered a mental health recovery. Such a former patient had to be able to meet four criteria. They must have

  • There is a genius Go programmer (as in Weiqi, Baduk, GO game) that IIRC has come out as schizophrenic some years ago.
    His name is Frank A. de Groot, author of MoyoGo Studio - a controversial but good go-studying platform. Some time ago, he used to offer his program for a fee, got into trouble with major Go schools in Korea I think (they claimed he used their pro game logs data without authorization). The guy always has an axe to grind with somebody, whether on good ole groups, irc, email or forums. After s
  • I have learned from observance and being around people with various mental issues that those who regularly take their meds do a lot better than those who do not. One of the problems with mental illnesses is that the illness will convince the person who has it that they don't need to take their meds. If you are prone to this kind of thing where you don't take your meds when you feel good, you are going to have problems in a work place. I guarantee it. The most unpleasant work experience of my life was w

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