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Brenna’s Story

“…if you’re welcoming and supportive, instead of cold and harsh, that can make a huge difference.”

What kind of stigma did you experience/observe?

After returning to work from a medical leave caused by mental illness, my supervisor did everything he could to force me out of the department.

Stigma story

I suffer from bipolar and anxiety. I started having severe panic attacks at work, bad enough that my doctor recommended a medical leave. Over the next several weeks, I struggled getting out of bed and leaving my house. My medications had to be redone. I was a complete mess.

My supervisor decided to fire me while I was on FMLA. I fought back and was reinstated. However, I had to go back to work earlier than was healthy for me.

It became an extremely hostile environment that only exacerbated my condition. I keep trying to fight, because this isn’t right, but there’s only so much you can do before you’re completely beaten down.

What could someone have said/done to make it OK?

I know that people don’t always know what to say. But if you’re welcoming and supportive, instead of cold and harsh, that can make a huge difference.

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