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Bipolar Disorder And Your Working Life

How does bipolar disorder affect your working life? Are you able to work? If you do work how do bipolar symptoms affect you?

How Bipolar Disorder Affects You At Work?

If you have bipolar disorder there are many challenges you face. For example it can affect your ability to find and keep a job.

There are many people with bipolar disorder are either not working or only work part time. However there are many other people with bipolar disorder that can hold down jobs, despite the emotional turmoil they feel.

Bipolar Symptoms Are On A Spectrum

It’s interesting to note that bipolar disorder is a spectrum disorder. This can involve moods at both ends of the spectrum, including both very high and very low moods.

The very high moods are mania and the very low moods are depression.

There are many people with bipolar disorder that experience less severe mania as well as less severe depression.

When someone with bipolar disorder is having an episode, there are many symptoms that they may face.

These include poor judgement and impulse control as well as frequent mood swings between mania and depression. Also irritability, inability to concentrate as well as hyperactivity.

The severity of these symptoms vary from person to person. They all face challenges with finding and maintaining employment as well as interacting with others.

Here’s a related post if you’re interested, “Bipolar Spectrum Disorder – Discovery Mood & Anxiety Program”.

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One of the biggest triggers of bipolar symptoms is stress. Examples of stress can include events involving drastic or sudden changes. These can be either good or bad – such as getting married, going away to college, losing a loved one and also getting fired from a job.

Did you know your job can trigger stress? Some of the many causes of work-related stress include long hours, heavy workloads as well as job insecurity. Also having conflicts with co-workers as well as bosses are triggers.

Feeling stressed can lead to symptoms such as a drop in job performance, depression, anxiety as well as sleep problems.

It’s vital to be aware of work-related stressors. These can be harmful to anyone, but if you have bipolar disorder they can be like gasoline being dumped on a bipolar grease fire. As a result, the affects of work-related stress are amplified by it.

When this happens, many people with bipolar disorder may end calling in sick frequently. Also, they may end up having problems with lack of focus as well as hyperactivity. As a result, your performance at work suffers and you may either end up resigning or you end up being fired.

Tools For Managing Bipolar Disorder At Work

The most devastating myth about bipolar disorder is that you’re not able to work. It is true that if you don’t treat your symptoms it makes it harder for you to hold down a job. However when you manage symptoms properly, you’re able to function like everyone else.

In a previous post, “How To Be High Functioning Bipolar”?, we learned that “high functioning” doesn’t apply to how severe your symptoms are. Instead it applies to how you manage them. For example when anxiety is happening, you manage it well enough to maintain daily functioning.

Also, a person who is high functioning bipolar is aware of how bipolar disorder affects their working life.

What Are Some Tools That Are Used?

Having bipolar disorder can have a serious affect on your working life. If you have the right tools, you’ll be able to manage your symptoms successfully.

Tools Include:

Work With Your Therapist:

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Bipolar disorder can have an impact your job and career. In fact more than 80% of bipolar patients say that their illness affects their work.

Don’t be alarmed if you’re diagnosed with bipolar disorder. When you seek treatment, you’ll be able to work and have a some what normal life. Treatment includes therapy and medications as well as coping strategies and lifestyle changes.

Coping strategies include finding time for self care such as exercise. Also, they include practicing good sleep hygiene.

If you’re interested in learning more please click here: “10 Coping Strategies For Bipolar Disorder”.

Find A Job That Suits Your Needs:
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If you have bipolar disorder and getting back to work, there are many factors to consider.

The ups and downs of bipolar disorder can make finding and keeping a job hard. However along with getting help from a doctor, it helps to put the kind of hours you work into consideration.

It helps if you find a job that has consistent hours during the day. Also the job allows for some time for self care such as getting enough sleep.

In a previous post, “How To Overcome Sleep Problems”, we learned that sleep plays a major role in bipolar disorder.

As a result, it’s not a good idea to work a job that requires either rotating shifts or even night shifts. This may result in poor sleep, which is a major trigger for bipolar episodes.

Here’s a related post to check out, “8 Career Success Strategies for Bipolar Disorder”.

Create Some Structure In Your Life:
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A very important coping strategy is to have structure. Many experts say that work can actually ease bipolar symptoms.

Work can give you a sense of structure. Also it reduces depression and boosts confidence.

Along with working, having a daily routine also provides structure. For example, having a set routine for when you go to bed as well as waking up helps you to get the sleep you need. Also, it helps to set a routine for exercising as well as socializing.

Get To Know Your Triggers:
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One thing you’ll notice about bipolar disorder is that it’s unpredictable.

However an important strategy to have is to become aware of what triggers your symptoms.

For example, if lack of sleep is triggering either depression or mania symptoms, you can make some changes early on.

Along with making lifestyle changes, it’s vital to call your doctor as well.

Guarding Against Impulsive Behavior During Mood Episodes:

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When you’re triggered, you might be having symptoms. 

Having sleep problems, speaking rapidly as well as racing thoughts are common symptoms. Did you know that impulsive and/or risky behavior happens as well?

Sometimes you may face intense boredom as well as frustration at work. When this happens, you might feel like quitting your job for no reason at all. As a result you might end up self sabotaging yourself and your career.

It’s important to learn how to guard against impulsive thoughts and behaviors.

First, you need to become aware of what causes it. It’s possible that being impulsive is caused by anxiety. Next, you should stop and think about what you’re impulsive thoughts are telling you and then let them go.

How Do Bipolar Symptoms Affect Your Working Life?

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