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Untreated: 5 Ways Bipolar Disorder Could Be Affecting Your Workplace Performance

Untreated: 5 Ways Bipolar Disorder Could Be Affecting Your Workplace Performance

A person shared their story of living with bipolar disorder (BPD) on the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) page. Here is an excerpt from their story: “I’m…a wife, a mother of four, and a nurse. I have been an RN for 10 years…it took me years to admit something was wrong. I was embarrassed. I’m the nurse. I’m supposed to dispense the medication, not take it myself.”

BPD affects nearly 5.7 million adults in the U.S., and can affect daily life quite significantly if not treated. Many people in professional settings, especially in the healthcare field, place high expectations on themselves with the belief that since they are providing care to others, they cannot experience their own mental health issues. Unfortunately, this leads many to deny the symptoms they’re experiencing, thus continuing on a path of stress, chaos, and/or debilitation as the symptoms of mental illness continue unfolding.

There are several types of BPD, but each depend on a variety of factors, including whether a not a person experiences depression and/or mania, to what extent, and how often these symptoms last. BPD is a mental illness that requires treatment, which often includes medication and psychotherapy. If BPD remains undiagnosed and untreated, a person may experience several issues in the workplace, including:

  • Inability to concentrate on tasks at hand
  • Stress on relationships with coworkers from exhaustion, irritability, restlessness, talkativeness, aggressiveness and more
  • Substance abuse during lunch, on breaks, in the workplace or when arriving to work
  • Suicidal thoughts, which could result in lost productivity, high absences from work, and terminating one’s employment altogether

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) emphasizes that the intense mood swings experienced with BPD can cause much debilitation in terms of daily responsibilities, including within the workplace. By seeking help from a licensed healthcare professional, an individual can be well on their way to understanding their disorder, recognizing the signs of mental illness, as well as developing effective coping skills and treatment plan strategies for moving forward. Leaving BPD untreated could lead to worsening of symptoms, which further place someone’s happiness, health, and well-being at risk.

If you haven’t already, speak with someone from a professional treatment center to learn more about programs to best suit your needs. Optimal recovery is possible, and you are not alone in your pursuit for happiness, health, and wellbeing.

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