Bipolar Disorder, Unemployment and Addiction

Bipolar Disorder, Unemployment and AddictionIndividuals with bipolar disorder are more likely to face workplace troubles and struggle with addiction. By effectively managing the disease with medication and therapy, bipolar sufferers can dramatically improve job performance and fight addiction.

Bipolar Disorder and Daily Living

Bipolar disorder is a serious mood disorder. Individuals suffering from the disease experience a cycle of shifting emotions that range from periods of depression to periods of emotional highs. Sufferers experience extreme changes in their thoughts, moods, energy levels and behaviors, according to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA).

It can be difficult to accurately diagnose the disease. DBSA notes that some people may be diagnosed with unipolar depression when they actually have bipolar disorder. The disease commonly occurs first during adolescence, but bipolar disorder can affect children or older adults. Six million Americans have the disease. Onset in men typically begins with a manic episode while onset in women typically begins with a depression episode.

Work Performance and Bipolar Disorder

Several studies show a relationship between bipolar disorder and employment problems, according to the American Journal of Managed Care. The symptoms of bipolar disorder affect job performance in various ways, including the following:

  • Bipolar sufferers are more likely to have a medical illness and consequently miss days from work due to the illness.
  • Absentee rates are higher due to emotional problems or physical symptoms.
  • Poor work performance is more likely due to missed days or unmanaged bipolar symptoms.

According to the American Journal of Managed Care, bipolar sufferers are seven times as likely to have employment problems compared to individuals without the disease.

Substance Abuse and Bipolar Disorder

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), as many as 60 percent of bipolar sufferers also have a substance abuse problem. An addiction to alcohol or drugs may hide bipolar symptoms. Individuals may drink alcohol to dull the effects of racing thoughts, which are common during a manic episode, or take drugs to feel happier during a depressive episode. While these substances offer temporary relief, they can prevent an individual from seeking treatment for bipolar disorder and create other long-term problems, such as physical sickness or poor work performance.

Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

Individuals with bipolar disorder benefit from a variety of therapies, including talk therapy, combined with certain medications. It may take time to find the best treatment, but bipolar sufferers experience a much higher quality of life when they seek help.

Finding Bipolar Disorder Treatment

It’s crucial to seek help for bipolar disorder. If you or a loved one needs help treating the disease, call our counselors today for advice. Our toll-free helpline is available 24 hours a day to give family members, friends and individuals suffering with bipolar disorder helpful information. Take action today and get the help you need to improve your quality of life.