My 30 years as an executive in the wholesale women’s garment industry would take an unexpected turn in the year 2000. In hindsight, I realize the frequent extreme manic bipolar highs and lows I experienced weren't normal. If I sold a big order, BOOM, I was feeling high as a kite. If the stores weren’t selling my merchandise, BOOM, I would feel as low as an excavated pit. But I didn’t recognize the symptoms until it was too late.
Losing It All
On that fateful day in December, I had a psychotic break. Eventually I would lose everything: my family, my high-paying job and my home. Here’s a short video during that life-altering time, right before and during my psychotic episode.
Knowledge Can Make a Difference
I now wish I had been taught the symptoms of mental illness. My parents suffered from addiction and mental illness. I should have been told I had a high predisposition to follow in their footstep. If I had known, perhaps I could have prevented the perfect storm that forever changed my life.
The Surprising Cost to Corporate America
My story is not unusual. Did you know, according to a nationwide coalition in Ohio called Employers Health, mental illness in the workplace causes more absenteeism than heart disease and cancer! The cost to corporations is estimated at almost $100 billion in yearly lost productivity. But these disorders continue to go unrecognized by employers while their employees suffer silently, afraid of losing their jobs if they seek help.
I want to help bring mental illness out of the shadows and dispel the stigma that comes with it, not only in the workplace, but everywhere. My mission as a mental health speaker is to educate others on the tools of prevention, intervention and recovery. With my knowledge through first-hand experience, education and the passion to help others, I am blessed to be in a position to do this.
For more information about how I can help mental health specialists or anyone struggling with mental illness, please contact me. I offer keynote and experiential workshops for providers, mental health organizations and the general public.