Iíve just accepted a position in Riyadh, and now Iíve heard that bipolar disorder will make it impossible to get a work visa. Great timing.
So, if I happened to be a bipolar US citizen (and I only mention the US as a point of reference. I don't know whether it makes a difference in this conversation)Ö
Assume that the bipolar disorder is under control (meaning that I would be completely asymptomatic) with Lamictal. Note that Lamictal is prescribed for both bipolar disorder and epilepsy. If epilepsy doesn't preclude me getting a visa, I'd be happy to have it instead:
-Would bipolar disorder keep me from getting a work visa?
-Is Lamictal or its generic version (Lamotrigine) available over-the-counter in Riyadh? If so, where? Any idea on cost?
-Is it possible to receive mail-order drugs (limited to Lamictal) in the KSA? What if my wife sent me a six-month supply via mail, FedEx, UPS, etc?
-Once in the country, would one be able to be treated by a Saudi doctor for bipolar disorder without the threat of deportation, or worse?
-Iíve got a three-month supply Iíd like to bring with me. Is there going to be a problem at the airport? Note that I'll be in Riyadh for at least a year, so that three month supply won't help in the long run.
-And now the real stupid question... what if one didn't note bipolar disorder on one's visa application, but then arrived in Riyadh with a three-month supply of Lamictal?
Iím in a spot. Itís been a long slog to negotiate salary and benefits, and the arrangement weíve come to is close to perfect. Iím an expert in my field and my future employer pulled-out the stops to get me. However, I donít want to be on an airplane back to the states or in jail because I made a stupid decision. Iíd be so grateful if someone could give me some info. I sincerely apologize for the length and narrow nature of this post, but I'm panicked.
One last gem: although I could stop Lamictal and deal with being bipolar, it's problematic because there's danger in stopping this drug and starting it again when I return home. The consequences include death, and that tends to focus the mind. Note that nothing has worked for me as well as Lamictal, but I'm open to other avenues.