I am feeling exhausted and vulnerable and am tearful here but I wanted to talk a little about invisible disabilities, including bipolar disorder and post-traumatic-stress disorder (PTSD).
Someone with bipolar disorder and PTSD can look very well at times, even when they are very unwell (such as manic).
My mood has been unstable recently and yesterday my PTSD was triggered big-time when I was at WINZ yesterday and the case manager wasn’t listening (I explained what happened in another video). I got the impression that by demanding additional information from my psychiatrist and psychologist, despite my providing them a doctor’s certificate as they require stating my conditions was not believing me (which was a trauma trigger for me going back to sexual abuse). I think a lot of WINZ staff have the attitude that everyone is a dole bludger, and that I constantly need to prove myself. I cried a lot at WINZ and have been very tearful since.
I receive a small benefit some weeks to top up my low income from variable part-time work. I want to keep working. At times, I have been too unwell to work at all. I have been struggling lately, but still, most of the time, I will mask. I think for me, it’s a survival thing – to hide my vulnerabilities. Usually, I hide myself away (self-isolate) so that I don’t upset people who only want to see me with a smile on my face. I am being extremely vulnerable showing you my tears.
At times I have felt like a burden eg on society, my family, the tax-payer (even though I pay taxes). Feeling like a burden is a suicide risk in my opinion. I have made another video explaining more about some of the reasons I have felt suicidal.
I also made some brief videos about some topics that are very difficult for me but that I am processing – about sexual abuse and rape. I felt incredibly anxious about the topics, but I felt it was important and my anxiety eased when I addressed them.