I’ve been working as a software engineer for about 7 years, after graduating in Computer Science here in the UK. I’ve been diagnosed with Schitzoaffective Disorder, which is a combination of Schitzophrenia and Bi-Polar disorder. I function really well on the medication that I’ve been taking for the past ten years, and most people do not notice any difference, and are really surprised when I tell them that I have depression - which is usually what I do tell them, because there is just too much stigma associated with telling them I have schitzophrenia.
It really annoys me how I have to keep everything secretive about my illness, because otherwise it would negatively affect my career and relationships with colleagues. My employer is very understanding when I need to take time off, and because of the cocktail of drugs I have to take, when I sometimes turn up later than usual to work. I am declared disabled, and that is a valid disability over here.
Life is really good; I am quite successful in my career and I have a good set of friends and an understanding and supportive girlfriend. With the medication that I’m on, usually I don’t feel or seem depressed or abnormal in any way. It’s just it’s difficult to explain to colleagues sometimes why I need to take the odd day off.
I think my story is not that unusual, it’s just a lot of people don’t feel comfortable disclosing such information on their health when there is so much stigma attached. So don’t feel like you are unusual or that your illness means that you can’t live a successful and happy life.