Living with BPD can cause problems at work as well as in everyday life. We believe that everybody should feel safe and supported at work, and should be able to talk about their mental health when they need to.
A big worry people have is one of being treated unfairly if they reveal their medical condition, or ways in which they might be struggling – this is discrimination, and is against the law in the UK.
The Time to Change website has some excellent information on mental health discrimination and the law.
Other symptoms, such as having difficulty relating to colleagues, emotional instability, anxiety or obsessive behaviours, can also cause difficulties in the workplace. If these symptoms are combined with other mental health problems (depression, substance abuse or eating disorders, for example), the workplace can become a very stressful environment.
The Equality Act 2010 means that employers must make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to their employment practices and premises, for those employees with health problems affecting their ability to work. The adjustments vary according to the employee’s needs, but the company is obligated to make reasonable adjustments where they can.
These adjustments might be a simple things like allowing more breaks, or could be:
- flexible working – a change or reduction in working hours, the option to work from home, job share or allowing altering start and finish times;
- changing the tasks assigned to you;
- removing or reducing any work-related targets or deadlines;
- reducing your workload;
- providing a quiet space for you to rest without being disturbed;
- allowing time off for treatment, medical appointments and therapy.