Should I take meds?

I have a difficult issue at the moment.
For those if you that don’t know I am a Data and Funding manager for a local college. I love my job and I find that even at my bad times working can help to an extent. I have very supportive managers who put in place a flexible working plan for me when I am unwell so at the moment I work from 8 until 2 at the latest then go home and am on emails and do light tasks for an hour or so.
I am bipolar and also suffer from severe anxiety/paranoia and when unwell I do take promethazine and also diazepam which are the only meds that work ( in moderation) and also don’t give me horrendous side effects. I also am very cautious when taking them and have recently gone for 6 months totally med free.
This brings me on to anti – depressants and anti-psychotics which I don’t take for 2 reasons:
Firstly I suffer from horrendous side effects and also cannot function on these medications. This means I am unable to work and because I don’t have support in the daytime can spend hours on my own which puts me at more risk.
Secondly at times in the past when I have been in hospital or when I didn’t work I was on medication which no matter the combination or dose never seemed to work and in fact the only thing that has worked for me is therapy or having a named contact (maybe a CPN) to see monthly when I am well (or even less regularly) so that as soon as I need support or start to feel unwell I have a consistent familiar person to assist and who can ensure I take prn medication correctly whilst giving me support that works for me.
As this seems impossible to put in place I now find myself in a situation where because I don’t take medication and because I do work I don’t get the help I need. Surely it is best to support me in work and listen to what works for me and not just make me take medication which doesn’t work and which ultimately would put me more at risk.
What also upsets me is that psychiatric staff continually belittle my illness and symptoms because I carry on working – why can’t people realise that I am very unwell, that I know myself so well but that working is helping – it doesn’t mean the depression is any less or that I shouldn’t be taken seriously. I am not saying that my way is the right way for others in fact that is the whole point and everyone is different and bipolar comes in different forms which is why I should be encouraged and supported in anyway that helps not just made to fit a criteria.


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