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Lost Job After Being Diagnosed with PTSD

Discussion in 'Employment & Education' started by semperfi2102, Jan 22, 2008.

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  1. semperfi2102

    semperfi2102 New Member

    Hi, I am new to this forum. I recently lost my job after problems at work that resulted from my PTSD. I was diagnosed last fall with Delayed Onset PTSD, that was causing performance issues at work.

    I was trying hard to reduce the stress and Anxiety in the workplace, started taking my medications, hower right after the Christmas break, after my manaager said I was improving, he fired me.

    I am feeling very insecure and lack of confidence of my future.

    Can anyone offer help? Please?
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  3. AmazonBelle

    AmazonBelle Member

    I can offer you a warm welcome to this forum. Welcome, SemperFi.

    It has taken me a long time to recover from my nervous collapse due to PTSD (4 years, and I'm just starting back to college for a career other than nursing... which I did formerly). I would have never believed that it would take me so long to get back on my feet. Even now, it's a shaky start.

    I hope you find some help and encouragement here and in your circumstances at home.
  4. waif123

    waif123 Member

    Hi semperfi

    I am fairly new here as well, I have been off work for 2 years dealing with the issues around PTSD.

    Were you able to ask your boss why he was firing you. Sometimes, not always, PTSD can be classified as a disability which gives you some protection. Is there a labor board you can ask about whether your boss had the right to fire you?
  5. baileysemt

    baileysemt Active Member

    Hi Semperfi,

    I can tell you that losing one's job (whether by firing or quitting) is very common among us PTSDers... it is because many of us simply cannot do the things we used to be able to do.

    We aren't the same people we were before; we now have different skills, different capabilities, as well as new weaknesses. The things that used to be strengths may now be weaknesses or may no longer exist. This may mean that we are no longer suited to do the work we were doing before. This may mean that during your worst outbreaks of PTSD symptoms, you are unable to work at all. (I went through that, personally -- and still do at times) And, this may mean that you are now suited to do completely different work now than before.

    Letting go of our previous lifestyle, and letting go of our old way of measuring accomplishments, is supremely hard. Incredibly, incredibly hard. After all, we lived our lives measuring our successes that way for how many years???

    But it is necessary to let go of previous measurement methods, because your life is no longer measured in the way that you've been measuring it up 'til now. You're using a measuring system that doesn't even acknowledge the things being measured now. It is like trying to use a test tube to measure how tall a skyscraper is -- clearly, a test tube is the wrong tool for the job. A test tube has no way of even acknowledging, let alone quantifying, the many unique aspects of a skyscraper.

    However if you insist upon looking at things in the old way (using your trusty test tube) then all you're going to see is failure - failure - failure ... because in the past, all you were measuring was test tube things.

    Now, in terms of "where to go next," I agree completely with waif123, I would get a full report of my human resources file including all documentation for what the employer's complaints are as well as why you were fired (DO NOT tell them you are talking to a lawyer. Don't tell them anything. Just ask for a copy of your file, period. It's your file, so you have a right to it -- no explanations are necessary.). An initial consult with most lawyers are free... I would contact a couple of lawyers for their opinions. Also make sure you file for unemployment in the meantime.

    You may realize after some soul-searching that you don't actually want your old job anymore, that it is no longer suited to you. That's okay. Many of us have gone off in a totally new direction, to new lines of work. There is nothing wrong with that. Keep in mind that the smart thing to do, no matter what illness we're talking about, is:
    1. Treat the illness; and
    2. Get a job well-suited to our abilities, weaknesses and personality.
    There's also nothing saying you couldn't collect a wrongful termination settlement and then turn around and dump their sorry asses for a job that is a much better fit. :) Contact a lawyer and see what your options are; it doesn't cost anything to do so.

    anthony likes this.
  6. anthony

    anthony Master of none!

    Well said bailey.... have some rep.

    I would say that it is not a legal aspect if your fired for PTSD because it is affecting your work, because whilst you are covered one way, your not many others, in that an employer cannot lose money carrying a person who is not performing their duties as agreed, illness or not.

    If you had PTSD and you performed your duties IAW your agreement, and they fired you because they found out you had PTSD, and they knew someone who had it and beat people up, then that is grounds for legal recourse.... not just because you have it. If it affects you, it is a legal defence that you are at fault regardless the illness for failing to perform, turnup on time, address others in a civil manner, etc etc etc.
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