In this blog post, we will learn about the best jobs for people with bipolar disorder. We will understand how to choose the right career, strategies for succeeding professionally, and jobs people with bipolar disorder must avoid.
Best Jobs for People with Bipolar Disorder
The following is a list of best jobs for people with bipolar disorder:
- Web Developer;
- Bookkeeper or Accountant;
- Hearing Aid Specialist;
- Massage Therapist;
- Statistician; and
- Medical Coder
This career could be peaceful and provided much-needed consistency and stability. There are no tight deadlines, technical issues, and functional website alterations at a moderate speed.
One thing to be kept in mind is your need for perfectionism. You need to assess if you would obsess until you reach the perfect solution or be okay doing the best you can. If this perfectionism proves to be a stressor in itself, you might have to reconsider this profession.
Bookkeeper or Accountant
These professionals perform consistent tasks, such as updating balance sheets regularly, tracking statistics to assess success, and settling accounts. Their environment is also relatively calm and peaceful, allowing them to stay focused on their job.
There are a few accounting roles that may not be devoid of stress. For example, during specific periods like the tax season, the job may get more stressful. Understand the roles and responsibilities and any associated fluctuations before making a career choice.
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Hearing Aid Specialist
This job allows you to improve someone’s quality of life. There may not be any degree requirements. Moreover, the job entails low stress, is highly rewarding, and lets you be in touch with advancing technology.
The tasks would be repetitive, like measuring hearing capacities, which can be performed consistently and systematically. The pay is also good, which is an excellent incentive. The job is highly satisfying as clients tend to be immensely grateful for a hearing aid specialist’s services.
This profession involves a healthy and stress-free environment as it provides such services that reduce stress and help people rejuvenate. The job comes with clear and consistent duties. Massage therapists work in multiple places, such as spas and offices. They may even choose to be self-employed, which allows for flexibility.
This job allows you to take care of your mental health.
It is a rapidly evolving field, is high paying, and does not entail much stress. The work environments of statisticians are typically devoid of distractions, enabling people to focus on their work. This job does not need you to produce quick results.
Corporates and government agencies alike are on the lookout for statisticians. This allowance to choose their preferred work setting is a genuine benefit.
Medical coders work in healthcare settings and are required to do repetitive tasks such as maintaining records. This job is not stressful and entails well-defined roles that aid in legal and insurance policies. They are an excellent help to healthcare professionals.
How to Choose the Right Career
There are several considerations to make while choosing the right career, including:
- Consistent responsibilities
- Peaceful Work Environment
- Supportive Coworkers
- The Creativity of the Job
- Understanding Yourself
Different jobs entail different stress levels. Some jobs have oscillating pressures, which could be harmful to individuals suffering from bipolar disorder. They require stability and a clearly defined set of responsibilities.
Peaceful Work Environment
This job will support your lifestyle and provide growth in both personal as well as professional life. You need to evaluate if the job will be unmanageable in relation to stress and work hours.
The best surrounding is one that is calm and enables relaxation. It needs to entail schedules that are regular and must improve your overall wellbeing.
Even if the workspace comprises productive chaos, it can be exhausting for people with bipolar disorder because of sensory overload.
You need to be equipped with adaptive coping skills like calling a close friend, practicing relaxation techniques, or even taking a walk. Therefore, you need to look for jobs where you can take the occasional break instead of choosing a position in which such pauses are impossible.
Conflict among coworkers and other internal politics can cause extreme stress. Find employment opportunities, which provide a supportive company culture rather than one characterized by unhealthy competition.
Make sure the job has coworkers whose values resonate with yours and those who appreciate work-life balance as these are essential for your physical and mental health. Being surrounded by considerate and supportive co-workers is crucial for feeling understood and dealing with stress effectively.
The perfect schedule is one that allows part-time work. It is also best to work during the day and avoid the night shift. Doing so will enable you to maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle, which is helpful for the condition.
Sleep disturbances can worsen bipolar disorder as the symptoms exacerbate after even one night of disturbed sleep. Those with bipolar disorder are commonly diagnosed with sleep disorders. It is ideal to look for a job with a regular daytime schedule to manage this comorbidity effectively.
The creativity of the job
People with bipolar disorder perform well in jobs that allow them to be creative. Therefore, it is best to look for a job that will enable creative expression while also providing you with time for executing creative projects.
It is incredibly crucial to understand yourself as this understanding is vital in making the right career choice. Some of the things you need to know about yourself are:
- Personality characteristics
- Physical abilities
Research the Job
Before making a career choice find out more about the profession, including:
- Roles and responsibilities;
- Work hours;
- Opportunities for career growth;
- Required education;
- Salary and perks;
- Required skills, licenses, or certification; and
- Employment outlook, such as current and future job availability.
Strategies for Career Success
- Talk to Your Boss
- Shift Work
- Stay Sober
- Trigger Awareness
- Knowledge of Side-Effects
The most important thing to do while managing bipolar disorder is to take professional help. Whether or not you have been diagnosed with the illness, it is crucial to visit a mental health professional.
The mental health professional will then recommend the appropriate treatment strategies, such as medication and psychotherapy, including Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT). This form of psychotherapy allows people with bipolar disorder to establish a routine and structure in their lives.
Talk to Your Boss
It is not mandatory to disclose your condition to your employer. However, it is advisable to do so when you would like accommodations to be made concerning your schedule to increase productivity. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees owing to their psychological disabilities, including bipolar disorder, as per the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
No Shift Work
As we have already seen, a regular schedule is essential for people with bipolar disorder. Working night shifts, switching shifts impact sleep, making the management of the condition even more challenging.
Sleep disturbances lead to the dysregulation of the biological clock, which can trigger mood episodes. Therefore, to succeed in your career, it is essential to work in an organization that provides a regular schedule every day to regularize your sleep.
Alcohol tends to be a staple in events related to work, such as business luncheons and festivals. Individuals with bipolar disorder must avoid alcohol as it increases the risk of suicide and suicidal attempts. The use of any substance could negatively impact the mood and may interact with prescribed medications in harmful ways.
Specific individuals avoid foreseeable stressors by taking charge of their schedules. For instance, individuals with bipolar disorder may save up sick leaves so they can use them to rest and recuperate before stress triggers any symptoms.
You may find flexible scheduling useful. It enables you to select working hours that may be less stressful, like getting work done early in the morning or working from home all the time or whenever necessary.
Most have unpredictable patterns of onset. However, if you can discern manic or depressive symptoms early, you may benefit from additional treatment or can make appropriate changes that prohibit the occurrence of a manic episode.
If you have sleep difficulties, a flight of thoughts, extreme frustration, irritability, or are speaking rapidly, seek professional help immediately. Remember that dealing with bipolar disorder effectively every day is useful for personal and professional life.
Stress is the most common trigger for bipolar disorder, especially manic symptoms. A structured environment and schedule can prevent stressors. Consistency is critical in succeeding in your career, and this consistency can be extended to meeting deadlines, teammates, work hours, responsibilities, and understanding of the hierarchy of command.
Knowledge of Side-Effects
Prescribed medications may have side-effects that affect performance. It is vital to understand the black box warnings of the drugs. For instance, lithium is the most prevalent mood stabilizer, but it can cause adverse effects when you are dehydrated. There are specific drugs that interact with sunlight, which would be harmful to those working outdoors.
Talk to your doctor to address your concerns regarding the side-effects of the prescribed medications.
Jobs People with Bipolar Disorder Must Avoid
Here are specific jobs that people with bipolar disorder must avoid:
- Fire Fighter
- Stock Market Trader
- Startup Employee
- Military and Police Forces
In this blog post, we learned about the best jobs for people with bipolar disorder. We then gained insight into the means of choosing the right career, strategies for succeeding professionally, and jobs people with bipolar disorder must avoid.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
Frequently Asked Questions: Best Jobs for People with Bipolar Disorder
Can someone with bipolar disorder maintain employment?
Yes, someone with bipolar disorder can maintain employment. For those whose condition is too severe, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) considers it a disability, allowing them to claim disability rights upon meeting specific criteria.
What should you not do if you have bipolar disorder?
There are several things you should not do if you have bipolar disorder, such as:
Do not fail to disclose all your symptoms to your doctor;
Do not continue maintaining toxic relationships;
Do not damage your physical health;
Do not cease taking medication on your own; and
Do not meddle with prescribed drugs.
In case someone you know has bipolar disorder,
Do not disregard their treatment;
Do not skip on chances to help them, mainly if they are children; and
Do not destroy yourself for their disorder.
Can you be a good parent when you have bipolar disorder?
Yes, you can be a good parent when you have bipolar disorder. You will find more motivation to tend to your emotional and physical well-being. Having a mental health condition does not destroy parenthood.
Can you claim disability benefits with bipolar disorder?
Yes, you can claim disability benefits with bipolar disorder. You need to meet specific criteria provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Further, you need to receive a medical endorsement for vocational disability dependent on your age, functioning, and education level.
Can somebody with bipolar disorder not take medication?
No, somebody with bipolar disorder must not be without medication, as this may cause extensive high and low mood episodes. These symptoms may negatively affect the individual, and it may also increase the risk of acting on their self-harm or suicidal ideations.