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Annie Watsham

Case Study - Mental Health in IT and the Road to Recovery

Mental Health in IT

Phil works in IT and has a diagnosis of schizophrenia

"I developed schizophrenia around a decade ago. I received successful medical treatment and had no issues until four years ago when I started a job with a high street bank.

"Although I'd been treated successfully for schizophrenia, I had developed Type II Diabetes as a side effect of the drugs originally prescribed for me. This left me feeling unwell and I had to take a few months to (a) get the rampant diabetes under control and (b) transition me mentally to the different drugs.

"After only just starting the job before being signed off sick, I had a lot of problems from my managers upon my return and attitude from management was untenable regarding my absence. I left the company after a very difficult few months. I could not stand to work there any more, for example on my return to work I was accused of being overseas and getting a suntan whilst I was off work.

"Since then, my old manager repeatedly issued bad references to other prospective employers in the organisation and on numerous occasions I've failed to secure suitable employment roles due to these bad references. Obviously at the time of working for him I had some serious health issues which led to time off work, but it is very frustrating that this period of illness, now long gone, still has such an impact on my opportunities with this company."