Angelique headshot

The day before the diagnoses

As a casual conversation with a coworker suddenly turned confrontational, Angelique Morris left her desk in distress. Soon after, Morris found herself apologizing profusely in a room full of security.

“I will never forget this. It was August 31, 2016,” said Morris, a Calibration Coordinator at Capital One and single mom of a four-year-old daughter. “I wasn’t sleeping regularly, getting an hour or two a night. I was living off of energy drinks to stay focused. I knew something was … off. I felt like I was going to have a panic attack.”

As Morris sat with security, she was overwhelmed with anxiety. It wasn’t until her supervisor entered the room and recommended everyone leave that Morris felt a sense of calm.

“He said, ‘We need to get you to the hospital.’ So that’s what we did,” Morris said.“The next day, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Later came the diagnosis for Binge Eating Disorder.”

The courage to come back stronger

“My first thought when coming back after three weeks, was that people were going to think I am crazy,” Morris said. “How am I going to go from being a top associate with so much on my plate to not knowing if I can concentrate for 30 minutes at a time?”

Fortunately for Morris, she was instead met with an abundance of support and care from her coworkers, which allowed her to ease back into work at Capital One’s West Creek campus.

“The leadership team said they weren’t asking me to come back at 100%,” Morris said. “They said, ‘Let us know when you’re ready to go full steam ahead again.’ I wouldn’t have been able to keep any other job during that time. People were more concerned about whether I was okay.”

Easing the burden of mental health

Upon returning, Morris sought out the resources she needed to care for her mental health, such as LiveHealth Online – a program that connects Capital One associates and their families with licensed medical professionals for ongoing care, 24/7.

“I wouldn’t be able to afford mental health treatment without this health benefit,” Morris said. “It’s free and that’s huge as a single parent. This has been a lifesaver. I have a doctor available to talk to me today — now — if I needed.”

This resource, along with the support of her Capital One coworkers, has helped turn a tough day back in 2016 into a lifetime of improved mental health.

“My mental health illness can affect my job,” Morris said.” It isn’t in my control. Sometimes I need a timeout or I can’t sit still.”

But with the support of her coworkers, Morris is freely accepted for exactly who she is.

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