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working with bipolar disorder

I was diagnosed with bipolar about 2 years ago. I had been having symptoms for years but was always just treated w.antidepressants by drs and as needing anger management from people around me. I worked in a professional setting and managed an office of 10 for 6 years before resigning #1 from the stress and #2 we were moving. We planned on moving so I could quit work. I've been home for about 4 years now and I want to get a job but I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to handle it on a daily basis. I've been looking for part time work that is a little bit flexible as I think that would be a start and I wouldn't feel so overwhelmed all at once. All in all...I have a lot of fear about going back into the work force. If you're bipolar what kinds of work experiences have you had? Do you have any advice on how to manage day to day and work?

Answer Question

Asked by RentaMom at 12:08 PM on Jan. 17, 2011 in Money & Work

Level 15 (2,007 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • Are you on the right meds? I've been diagnosed with bipoloar II..... if you're on the right medication then you shouldn't be having symptoms and working shouldn't be an issue.... What have your doctors done?

    Answer by LynnB1 at 12:12 PM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • don't let anyone control you, or a drug, let life be yours to control. nicely. If you want a job that is maintainable, stay within your limitations of the tasks in that job, the length or time to get to it, the proximity to work, and even how many breaks are an issue. Make sure you have good benefits within a reasonable time. '
    Concentrate on just your goals and day to day realistic ones like not allowing anyone to get over you.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:13 PM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • Get better at handling stress. Do that by getting better at rejuvenating yourself and your body in the midst of stressful times --by taking a moment to take a few breaths, get a glass of water, spend a moment staring out a window, write a poem, read a poem, practicing meditation or prayer, going for a short walk, doing a few pushups... the list of possibilities is endless, but if you don't do it, you risk depleting your resources every day until you're completely out of cope.

    Everyone needs to do this (and few people do, preferring for some reason to explode or melt down at the end of a busy decade), some do it intuitively while others have to do it intentionally... but for people with mental or physical health issues that make the balance more important, it's more obviously important.

    Answer by LindaClement at 12:14 PM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • Bipolar can be very difficult to control and a combination of medication and therapy is needed to help learn how to control and live with the symptoms. With proper treatment and coping skills, you should have no problem working a job. Bipolar can NOT be controlled without meds. There is nothing wrong to be on meds or in counseling to help control your disorder. Bipolar is a chemical imbalance in the brain.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 12:17 PM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • Are either of you 3 ladies bipolar?

    Comment by RentaMom (original poster) at 12:24 PM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • I am not but am friends with atleast 2 people that are Bipolar and have taken enough Pysch clases to know what the most common treatments are.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 12:25 PM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • I failed to mention, I am on meds and see my Dr. religiously. (have been for 2 yrs) It seems it's been very hard to get things totally balanced for me though.

    Comment by RentaMom (original poster) at 12:26 PM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • OP: Bipolar is very hard to get balanced. With medication, counseling and will power, you should be able to live with it and learn how to work with your symptoms. My friends have good days and bad days and one had been Bipolar for about 10 years. She has worked when her symptoms are under control. Currently she is not working but is going to school fulltime and doing great. You have to know your symptoms, warning signs for the ups and downs and what works best for YOU to help get them under control. I wish you all the best.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 12:29 PM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • I'm bipolar, rapid cycling. I am extremely resistent to medications so my symptoms are never fully controlled. I did go through an intensive outpatient program at a local hospital which was very benificial for me. It's basically 4 hrs a day of group therapy, which i thought would be really stupid but was very helpful and the counselor was great at helping us find ways to deal with triggers and stress. I have been at my job 8 years and it has been a struggle at times. It's an office job. I just learned to keep to myself (my main issue is the rapid cycling and anger issues) and I would wear my ipod most of the time to keep focused. I work for a fortune 500 company and last year was offered to work at home. That has been an awesome fit for me! Just keep searching, don't give up. Good luck!!

    Answer by Astraea_79 at 2:50 PM on Jan. 17, 2011

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