Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric condition which can cause severe shifts in mood.
People with bipolar disorder can “cycle” from high moods (called mania and hypomania) to extremely low moods (depression). These mood shifts, along with other symptoms of bipolar disorder, can create a unique set of challenges in someone’s personal and social life.
Bipolar disorder and other mental health conditons have the potential to make it difficult for a person to find and keep a job or to function at work, especially if symptoms are currently affecting day-to-day functioning.
In one survey, 88 percent of people with bipolar disorder or depression said their condition has affected their work performance. About 58 percent of them quit working outside the home altogether.
There are many challenges related to having bipolar disorder and keeping a job. However, experts say that work can actually be quite helpful to people with bipolar disorder.
Work can give people a sense of structure, reduce depression, and increase confidence. This may help to enhance overall mood and empower you.
What are the best jobs for people with bipolar disorder?
There is no one-size-fits-all job for anyone. This is also true for people with bipolar disorder.
Instead, people with the condition should look for work that suits them as an individual. Here are some things to consider when deciding what kind of job is right for you:
What’s the work environment like?
Will this job support your lifestyle and help you grow as an individual, or will it be too challenging in terms of stress and erratic hours?
For many people with bipolar disorder, a quiet and relaxed workspace can help them to maintain regular schedules which can improve overall functioning.
What’s the schedule like?
Part-time work with an adaptable schedule can be helpful for people with bipolar disorder. It can also be helpful to work during the day.
Overnight and night shifts, or jobs that require you to be on call at night, may not be a good idea because sleep is very important. Maintaining a normal sleep/wake pattern can be beneficial with bipolar disorder.