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Bipolar Disorder at Work

Bipolar disorder (manic depression) does not mean someone cannot have successful, fulfilling career. However, symptoms may, at times, interfere with a person's ability to fulfill responsibilities. Also, many people are uncertain whether they should reveal to their bosses that they have this disorder. Here we offer a variety of discussions and resources regarding bipolar disorder on the job.
  1. ADA - Work Protection (10)
  2. Disability

Bipolar and Difficult Work History
Holding down a job when you have bipolar disorder can be terribly difficult, as these stories prove.

Making Ends Meet
Lily writes about her work experience from the time she began showing symptoms of bipolar disorder up to her current job. Some things were humiliating, some made her proud of herself. Readers can learn from her experiences, good and bad.

Get Over It!
A true experience: faced with a depressed and anxious employee whose behavior had changed dramatically, the best the supervisor could come up with was GET OVER IT.

Bipolar Disorder and Work
Guest Contributor Weezer (Sonya) talks about working - stress, medications, sleep issues, and why having a job is a top priority in her bipolar life.

A Kindergarten Teacher's Story
After being hospitalized and diagnosed with bipolar disorder, this Kindergarten teacher told her boss about her condition. Now she is not sure if this was a wise decision, but she faces the future with determination. Here is her story.

How Does Having Bipolar Disorder Affect You at Work?
Bipolar disorder may have a significant effect on your ability to perform your job, to get to work, or to hold a job. How have you been affected by having bipolar disorder?

How Have You Overcome Bipolar Disorder Obstacles On the Job?
Finding and keeping a job can be challenging for many people who have bipolar disorder. A supervisor, manager or boss may be unsympathetic or inflexible. Our readers share their successes.

An Inappropriate Illness
Professor Mark Grimsley's article "An Inappropriate Illness" describes his experiences in the academic world where he decided to be open about having bipolar disorder. Particularly valuable for readers who have told bosses and co-workers they have BP is the section outlining the memo he sends to each new department head. The comments after the article are worth reading as well.

Bipolar Disorder in the Workplace
Writing for Forbes, Scott Reeves discusses several issues regarding bipolar disorder in the workplace, emphasizing disclosure to bosses and co-workers, touching on how best to react to a co-worker who discloses having BP.

An Employee Who Is Deteriorating
A compassionate answer to a difficult question. When an employee goes off medications and manic behavior results, how should a manager respond? The answer recognizes that the employee needs help, not just discipline.

Asking for Accommodations?
Accommodation is a means of removing barriers for someone with a disability so that they can work effectively. Usually, accommodations are easy to implement and are inexpensive (less than $500). Employers are required by law to provide reasonable accommodation for an employee up to the point where it causes undue hardship to the employer.

Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work
The CCRW is a network of organizations and individuals that provides leadership in programs and services for job seekers with disabilities and businesses committed to equity and inclusion. A one-stop shop for disability and employment resources.

Do I Have to Tell My Employer?
Excellent guidelines for deciding when you do need to disclose to your employer that you suffer from a mental illness.

Questions and Answers for Employers
A rich resource to help employers deal with the many facets of hiring and maintaining employees with mental illnesses.

Talking to Your Employer
Extremely useful page from Mental Health Works to help you prepare to disclose your condition to your employer.

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