Jobs for People with Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder, also called manic depression, is a psychological disorder in which a person experiences periods of mania or hyperactivity that alternate with periods of extreme depression. Someone with the condition may also have periods in which his mood seems normal. The condition is usually treated with medication and many people with the condition respond well to treatment.
In some cases, bipolar disorder can be very disabling. Some people cannot work at all. Others work successfully in a variety of jobs, though some people require some workplace accommodations due to the disorder.
Mental health professionals sometimes recommend people with manic depression stick to a regular schedule, including sleeping regular hours. Irregular sleep patterns and odd work hours might make symptoms of bipolar disorder worse for some people with the condition. For this reason, jobs that require people to work varying shifts may not be good choices for people with bipolar disorder. Jobs that require people to work very long shifts may be difficult for some people with the condition as well, because getting enough rest can be an important part of managing the disorder.
Some people with bipolar disorder work at very stressful occupations and manage just fine. For many people with the condition, though, stress can make their symptoms worse. They may be advised to look for jobs with low to moderate levels of stress. Of course, what one person finds stressful, another might find quite manageable. Still, people with bipolar disorder may do well to avoid jobs that cause excessive feelings of stress or anxiety or that involve frequent conflicts with other.
The Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that employers must offer employees with disabilities reasonable accommodations as long as this does not create an undue hardship for the employer. What’s considered reasonable varies from situation to situation, but reasonable accommodations for someone with bipolar disorder might include things like providing a quiet work area away from distractions, permitting him to telephone support people during working hours, permitting him to work a flexible schedule when necessary, allowing him time off to attend counseling sessions and providing daily checklists of tasks to be completed.
Manic depressive people work in all kinds of jobs but a few fields are inaccessible them. For example, someone that has taken medication for a mental disorder at any time in his life is not allowed to enlist in the armed services. People with bipolar disorder may find it difficult to run for public office due to the social stigma still associated with mental illnesses.
National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/complete-index.shtml. Bipolar Disorder.
Job Accommodation Network. http://www.jan.wvu.edu/media/Bipolar.html. Employees with Bipolar Disorder.
Bipolar Disorders at Work. http://oreilly.com/medical/news/bipolar_work.html.
Americans With Disabilities Act. http://www.ada.gov/