Awhile back I mentioned a few strategies that help me be productive at work. Everyday Health’s Madeline Vann names 8 Career Success Strategies for Bipolar Disorder in a recent feature. I excerpted from her piece below:
1. Set Up Some Structure
“Ideally a very structured work environment would go a long way to preventing stressors,” says [psychiatrist Alan Prossin, MBBS, a clinical lecturer in the department of psychiatry at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor]. Career success strategies include getting as much consistency as possible in terms of the projects you work on, your deadlines, the people on your team, job description, hours, and your understanding of chains of command.
2. Shun Shift Work
Prossin says that one of the most important elements of a structured workplace is consistent scheduling. People with bipolar disorder have more problems managing their illness with a schedule that requires working nights, switch shifts, or long hours that impact sleep.
3. Get Flexible
Some people cope by arranging their schedule so they can avoid known stressors. For example, Prossin says, some people with bipolar disorder bank sick hours so they can take time off and rest before stress triggers an episode.
4. Stay Sober at Happy Hour
From happy hour with your office mates to business luncheons and holiday parties, alcohol sometimes seems like a vital part of the typical workplace dynamic — but most people with bipolar disorder benefit when they skip the cocktails.
5. Learn About Drug Side Effects
Psychiatric medications might affect your mood at work or, more specifically, how you work. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to drug labeling information.
6. Know Your Triggers
Many people with bipolar disorder have less than predictable patterns of onset, says Prossin, but if you can identify depression or mania symptoms early, you might be able to get additional treatment or make lifestyle changes that prevent a manic episode.
Published originally on Sanity Break at Everyday Health.
First prize – become self-employed if you possibly can. Best decision I ever made. No episodes for 18 years. After six years of in-patient / out-patients / therapy – you name it!
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